— ABC News (@ABC) March 5, 2017
The White House is scrambling to get back on track after yet another Trump-tweeted mess, and two senators — amused Democrat Al Franken and deer-in-the-headlights Republican Marco Rubio — provided Sunday political talk-show responses that illustrate the absurdity of the situation. To briefly recap, Trump dropped unfounded accusations that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. The president offered no proof and made these claims following a Breitbart recap of an intricate conspiracy theory that charged Obama with a “silent coup” against Trump. Well, Franken didn’t even try to hide his amusement while speaking to ABC News’ Martha Raddatz:
“My reaction to that is of course there wasn’t [bursts into laughter]. The president … he said this was a fact. And anyone knows, I’m on the Judiciary Committee, we do look at this intelligence stuff. You have to get a FISA or an order to do something like this … The president of the United States did not tap Donald Trump’s phone. I mean, that’s just ridiculous, and it’s a distraction.”
Yes, Trump was likely aiming for distraction from the Jeff Sessions-Trump-Russian ties mess, and through this tactic, he may actually make the situation worse. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to soften Trump’s accusations into “if” format, but Trump is now demanding an investigation into his unfounded accusations. All along, however, Franken has asked for more scrutiny (including an independent prosecutor) on Trump-Russian ties, and the Minnesota senator further elaborated:
“Here’s what I want to get to … His own son, Donald Trump’s son, has said in 2008, that Russia did an inordinate amount of business with them. And we don’t know what they have over him. We don’t know what the Russians have on Donald Trump. And we need — and we need to see, if anything — we need to see his tax returns.”
Once again, there are those phantom tax returns in the mix, which could prove a lot about Trump’s dealings with Russia. Will they ever surface, by order or otherwise? Who knows. However, the White House attorneys who are digging for evidence regarding Trump’s baseless claims may end up interfering in the Russian-ties probe to such a degree that an independent prosecutor will be unavoidably necessary. If that happens, Trump’s accusations would be counterproductive.
As Franken laughed, Senator Rubio — a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee — found himself in another tough spot on CNN’s State of the Union. The chap cannot hold onto his Tampa office due to ongoing anti-Trump protests, and here he was, without any guidance from the White House. Jake Tapper quizzed Rubio over Trump’s accusations against Obama. All Rubio could really say on the matter was “I’m not sure what he is talking about.” He hoped that more information will arrive in the coming days. Watch below.
— CNN (@CNN) March 5, 2017