Tue Mar 7, 2017 8:53AM
President Barack Obama (R) greets President elect Donald Trump at inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
President Barack Obama (R) greets President elect Donald Trump at inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
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Just when US President Donald Trump was furious about the uproar surrounding alleged secret meetings between his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russia’s ambassador to the US, he accused the Obama administration in a tweet of having spied on Trump Tower. Trump, however, failed to provide any evidence to substantiate the allegations which were outright rejected by Obama’s spokesman . Press TV has spoken to Wilmer Leon, a political scientist and radio host, and Scott Bennett, a former US army psychological warfare officer, to discuss the intentions behind Trump's wiretapping claim.

Scott Bennett spoke approvingly of Trump’s allegations of wiretapping, arguing that the reason behind this was to counter the revelations Donald Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen had made at the time about the links between Hillary Clinton, Trump’s then rival, and countries engaged with terrorist groups.

The Obama administration targeted Trump and Cohen because they had communicated that the Clinton Foundation along with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey were engaged in terrorist financing in Libya and Syria, the analyst reiterated.

“The Libyan tribes, [who] have been fighting against these mercenaries, have given us information and intelligence that we've been sending up to the Trump campaign. That's why really a lot of the Trump Tower was targeted,” Bennett noted.

The Obama administration “used a semantic term of wiretapping to try and say that technically it wasn't a wiretapping. But what President Trump essentially said is that they've been listening to me; they've been targeting my people; they've been listening to the phone calls. He will prove that with a forensic analysis of all of the NSA, CIA, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, all of the technology that is used in those listening and mapping that will all come out. Because Trump can declassify every single thing that has been done to him,” he explained.

The image grab shows Wilmer Leon (L), a political scientist and radio host, and Scott Bennett, a political analyst and former US army psychological warfare officer, on Press TV's 'The Debate' show on March 7, 2017.

 

Wilmer Leon, however, dismissed Bennett’s analysis as “gibberish,” stressing that Trump’s wiretapping claim was just designed to deviate public attention from other important issues such as Jeff Sessions' meetings with the Russian ambassador.

“That's a bunch of gibberish. Not one thread of documentable evidence," Leon complained, adding, "Trump used the word wiretap. Nobody else used the word until Trump injected that into the discussion. It's amazing to me how many times Trump surrogates have to come behind him and clarify what he says. They have to go into his mind and they have to extract from his mind what he actually meant because he seems to be so inarticulate that he cannot convey a substantive coherent thought.”

 “I don't understand how James Comey, Clapper, and all of these other ranking US officials are going to put their jobs - if not lives - on the line in perjuring themselves behind such a senseless allegation,” he argued. “The president of the United States cannot lawfully issue wiretaps. He just can't do it. Where is the warrant that would have been needed in order to do this? This is a ghost hunt. It's not even a witch hunt.”

In his latest tweets, Trump alleged that Obama had wanted to hatch a plot against him by tapping his phones during the campaign to find possible links between the Republican billionaire and Russian authorities.

On Sunday, the White House urged Congress to probe Obama’s alleged abuse of power to conduct surveillance activities on Trump. The president even threatened to take legal action over the matter.

However, Obama’s intelligence chief, James Clapper, rejected the claims and the former president’s spokesman Kevin Lewis also dismissed the accusation as “simply false.”

FBI Director James Comey also asked the Justice Department to publicly reject Trump's claim which it said it falsely insinuated that the agency had broken the law.