By now I’m sure practically anyone reading this has already heard about Trump’s ridiculous accusation that Barack Obama illegally ordered surveillance of Trump Tower. It’s a highly unconstitutional act of which he claims to have evidence, but has apparently refused to show Congress — despite his calls for a congressional investigation and requests from legislators to see this so-called “proof.”
Well, on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pushed another wiretapping conspiracy, this time alleging that Fox News’ James Rosen had “multiple phones” tapped. This was in response to questions regarding the recent Wikileaks dump.
“James Rosen had his phone, multiple phones tapped,” Spicer said
According to CNN Money, this is a claim that’s been circulating around conservative media sites for the last few days. There’s just one slight issue with what Spicer said: It’s not-at-all true:
“I was not wiretapped, my parents were not wiretapped, which is where you place a listening device on someone’s telephone line and you listen to their conversations,” Rosen told Fox & Friends on Sunday after the show’s hosts claimed his phones were tapped.
Instead, Rosen explained, former Attorney General Eric Holder had secretly designated Rosen a criminal co-conspirator — because he had received classified information from a former State Department contractor — thereby giving the government permission to subpoena Rosen’s emails and phone records, including those of his parents.
What happened was former Attorney General Eric Holder had Rosen’s emails and phone records subpoenaed because he had received classified emails from a former contractor for the State Department during an investigation related to that material being illegally leaked.
Simple, easy to understand, and a conspiracy that was debunked by the person involved, James Rosen.
That should be the end of it, right? Nope. Not when you’re dealing with Trump’s circus and his car full of clowns.
When CNN Money followed up with this information to White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, she told them, “There are multiple reports on this matter.”
Let that all sink in for a moment — because this is a big deal. In fact, I could argue that this is even more important than Trump’s unfounded conspiracy against Obama because this concerns accusations that the government was targeting journalists.
Here we had Spicer claiming that Fox News’ James Rosen had “multiple phones tapped” during an official press briefing. However, during a recent interview on Fox & Friends, Rosen had already proven that this conspiracy was completely fictional by explaining what actually took place. Nothing of which included any sort of unethical or illegal wiretapping of “multiple phones.” CNN Money then reached out to the Trump administration for clarification after making them aware of the fact that Rosen had already debunked what Spicer claimed during his press briefing. At which point Trump’s deputy press secretary essentially said that they don’t care that Rosen — you know, the person they said had “multiple phones tapped” — had already publicly said these rumors aren’t true because “multiple” sources have said something different.
Again, let that really sink in.
The Trump administration’s official position is that what they’ve read from “multiple sources” (aka right-wing blogs, many of which have absolutely zero credibility) concerning Rosen having “multiple phones tapped” matters more to them than Rosen, himself, publicly saying that this never happened.
If the person involved in one of Trump’s conspiracies publicly debunking what his administration is saying is true doesn’t impact their “official position,” then I… I really don’t even know what to say, honestly.
We’re at a point when it comes to dealing with what is or isn’t factual that even when the person involved in one of Trump’s conspiracies publicly states that it isn’t true, along with giving a detailed explanation of what actually happened — that matters less than what a bunch of conservative websites say. That’s unprecedented.
It’s obvious that Trump believes these fringe, right-wing conspiracy websites are “credible.” While he almost never publicly cites any source for his conspiracies, almost every outlandish claim he’s made has been traced back to some right-wing website/blog.
If you ask me, what the media needs to start doing is asking their questions; get the official Trump administration response; look it up where Trump found it on the Internet; contact those websites for their sources; then follow-up with the Trump administration once they’ve found the source and, most likely, debunked whatever nonsense Trump or someone in his administration said.
Because it’s obvious that there’s no point in using facts against Donald Trump or anyone associated with him. They’re going to say whatever the heck they want to say, because they’re backed by tens of millions of conservatives who never question or ask for evidence of anything.
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