The Nuclear Option: Obama Silent over Trump Tower Wiretaps


What is with this curious — now deafening — silence from former President Barack Obama on these charges that his administration spied on a political opponent at the very height of a presidential campaign?

Since President Trump first leveled the incendiary charges in early March, there have been thousands of press articles and endless hours of speculation on cable television about the high-level accusations.

Every word, character, and symbol of punctuation from Mr. Trump has been parsed and sussed and diagrammed.

 Yet, from media darling Barack Obama (about whom the accusations were made!)? Not a peep.

This is no small thing we are talking about here. We are talking about a sitting president’s administration using the terrifying powers of espionage of the United States government to conduct an intelligence operation against a political opponent before, during and after that target was elected president of the United States.

So much for “peaceful transfer of power.”

This would be 10 times more serious than Watergate. We are talking a constitutional crisis the likes of which we have never seen in modern times.

And all anybody around here seems to want to talk about is the exhaustively investigated — yet still unsubstantiated — conspiracy theories about Mr. Trump’s supposed ties to Russia.

Well, what about Mr. Obama? Did he actually morph into Russian President Vladimir Putin himself? Did he turn the White House into the Kremlin?

Those are much graver charges than whether somebody has “ties” to the Russians. And so many of the questions about Mr. Obama’s involvement in spying on his political enemy remain unanswered.

Actually, they remain unasked at this point.

And before you dismiss these questions as crazy tweets from a crazy dictator, remember that Mr. Trump’s national security adviser was fired after he was — indisputably — wiretapped and unmasked during the time he was serving on Mr. Trump’s transition team. This alone would be utterly unbelievable in a world before Oliver Stone’s movie “Snowden.”

So, what say you, Mr. Obama?


The only statement from Mr. Obama was a carefully worded non-denial issued by a spokesman.

“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” the statement began.

This would seem to merely confirm that Mr. Trump was being investigated by the Obama Administration — but that Mr. Obama’s fingerprints would not be found anywhere on that investigation.

And, yes, this is the same corrupt administration that featured the attorney general meeting in a private plane on a tarmac with the husband of the woman who was supposed to be Mr. Obama’s successor — while she was under investigation by the FBI.

The Obama spokesman’s statement went on to say: “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

Here again, they are playing a silly game. Instead of answering the real question, they are hiding behind the loose and imprecise language of Mr. Trump’s tweet where he shorthands the whole accusation in less than 140 digits by saying “Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower.”

Any logical human knows what Mr. Trump meant by this. I don’t think any serious person actually thought Mr. Obama himself in a hard hat and work gloves with wire snips was in the walls at Trump Tower twisting wires together.

Obviously, Mr. Trump meant that he and his campaign and transition team had been spied upon by U.S. intelligence services at the behest of — or with knowledge of — the sitting U.S. president.

Monumental charges. Yet no denial from the former president.

On Mr. Obama’s Twitter feed, he has opined about Chuck Berry, International Women’s Day and even Valentine’s Day. But not a peep about the serious charges lodged against him.

This, at a time when we are told that Mr. Obama plans to lead the political resistance against Mr. Trump. He should begin by “resisting” these charges.

Charles Hurt can be reached at; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.


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