Time for them to wake up to understand how Trump is a con man who uses Right wing conspiracy theories to (what he thinks) is his advantage. He did it with birtherism; he is using Right wing conspiracy theory again.
There were reports that the Breitbart article was being circulated in the White House on the Friday. There were reports that he was furious that Sessions did the (at least half) honourable thing in his recusing himself from investigations about Russian involvement. There were reports that his staffers (left back in Washington) were surprised at the Saturday morning tweet storm. His press spokesman had no idea when any evidence would be offered. (See my previous post.)
The response to questions that he produce evidence (as I predicted, there will be none provided) - punt it over to Congress and say that Trump will not speak of it again. (Let's see if he can keep to that.)
The circumstances are overwhelming clear - Trump was inspired by a Right wing radio host, via Breitbart, to make exaggerated but serious claims against Obama personally as a diversionary tactic and with no evidence. His staffers have been left struggling how to respond, and the best they have come up with "we'll say it's Congress's responsibility and therefore it would be inappropriate for us to keep speaking about it."
And his gullible base swallow it whole.
Look, if anyone thought that it was bad how the Bush administration and its agencies convinced voters (and other nations) to join in the Iraq invasion based on unreliable evidence, they should be horrified at how easy it will be for Trump to convince his base of any stupid over-reaction he wants to make against some international provocation.
And finally: to be clear, I think it very likely the reports that there was a successful application to the court for a wiretap of some sort are correct. If Trump wants us all to know the evidence that led to that successful issuing of a warrant - fine. Lots of people would have liked to have known that - before the election.
Update: This Hot Air post about it by Allahpundit (who is often accused in comments of being a rabid anti-Trumper, because he dares to question Trump) is pretty reasonable, and notes this:
Does Trump really want another high-profile Comey press conference, this time laying out precisely why the FBI was suspicious of, say, Paul Manafort’s communications with Russia? How do you suppose that would play politically for the White House?Update 2: Fascinating, from the NYT. (Both for content, and how everywhere is leaking in Washington!):
WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement.
Mr. Comey, who made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter, has been working to get the Justice Department to knock down the claim because it falsely insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said.
A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment. Sarah Isgur Flores, the spokeswoman for the Justice Department, also declined to comment.
Mr. Comey’s request is a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the position of questioning Mr. Trump’s truthfulness. The confrontation between the two is the most serious consequence of Mr. Trump’s weekend Twitter outburst, and it underscores the dangers of what the president and his aides have unleashed by accusing the former president of a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump’s young administration.Continue reading the main story