‘D.C. insiders seek to defeat Donald Trump - even in aftermath of his victory’ – ex CIA agent
President Donald Trump claims his White House predecessor, Barack Obama, wire-tapped his offices in New York prior to the election last November.
Trump posted a series of tweets, decrying the alleged surveillance as "McCarthyism."
Barack Obama's spokesman responded to Trump's accusations, saying that “neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen."
RT: What do you make of the accusations made by Donald Trump? How big of a deal is this?
Larry Johnson: I think it’s a huge deal. The problem is Trump probably should not have done this via Twitter because to call it a “wiretap” is technically inaccurate. And the denials by the Obama people - like Bill Clinton asking what the meaning of “is” is with respect to “was oral sex a sexual act.”
In this case I understand from very good friends that what happened was both Jim Clapper and John Brennan at CIA were intimately involved in trying to derail the candidacy of Donald Trump. That there was some collusion overseas with Britain’s own GHCQ [Government Communications Headquarters]. That information that was gathered from GHCQ was actually passed to John Brennan and it was disseminated within the US government. This dissemination was illegal.
Donald Trump is in essence correct that the intelligence agencies, and some in the law enforcement community on the side of the FBI, were in fact illegally trying to access, monitor his communications with his aides and with other people. All of this with an end to try and destroy and discredit his presidency. I don’t think there can be any doubt of that. I think it’s worth noting that the head of the National Security Agency, an Admiral [Michael] Rogers, made a journey to the Trump Tower shortly after Trump had won. And in the immediate aftermath of his visit, Jim Clapper and others in the intelligence community called for him to be fired. Why did Rodgers go to Trump Tower? My understanding is that it was to cover himself, because he was aware that the NSA authorities had been misused and abused with respect to Donald Trump.
So I think Trump’s decision to go out this morning and tweet this was fully intended to send a notice, to send word. I don’t think he’s doing this without evidence, he does have evidence. I think it was just inartfully expressed in the tweet.
RT: We’ve have not seen a lot of evidence in whole that Trump-Russia debacle. Will we see some evidence in this case?
LJ: There’s no evidence on the side of Russia meddling in the US election. I saw that [RT] had Brent Budowsky on earlier, and I simply wished you folks would ask him a very basic question. Ask him – “What specifically did Russia do that influenced the US election?” The answer is – nothing. Russia did not set up front companies; Russia did not provide money to the Trump campaign so that they could buy advertising; Russia was not providing advisers direct or indirect as cutouts to advise Trump on how to defeat Hillary Clinton - the classic things that we would see. Does Russia run intelligence operations against the United States? Yes. And does the United States do this against Russia? – Yes. But this is entirely, completely different matter. What we’re seeing here – some think this is an exaggeration, but I do not – there’s a genuine effort to try to take out and defeat Donald Trump even in the aftermath of his election. And there are still senior people in jobs at the Director of National Intelligence office, the office of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency… that ought to be fired; they ought to be marched right out the door.
RT: Will Trump be able to produce the evidence? Will he be able to take the upper hand here?
LJ: This is a coordinated, organized effort. The Obama remnants were really shocked that Trump won. They had no clue coming down the road that he was going to win. Once he won they genuinely thought that they could do things and plant information in the press that would put so much pressure on him that he wouldn’t be able to take the oath of office.
And those efforts backfired. This was one of the reasons the so-called ‘dossier’ on Trump’s alleged misbehaviors in Russia was leaked. All of this was part of a coordinated, planned campaign by people that are linked to Barack Obama. Did Barack Obama pick up the telephone and tell Jim Clapper or John Brennan to do XY and Z? No, I don’t think that’s the case. My understanding, though, is Obama did give the green light when he was briefed on information that had come from British GHCQ to US intelligence officials, that he gave a green light to go and to start distributing and using that in an improper way. This has to be done very methodically, because I think there well could be criminal charges brought against former members of the Obama administration for what they have done. What they’re doing would fall under the definition of sedition, which I realize sounds very alarmist. But the reality of what is going on is – these are not isolated events generated by actions that have been taken by Donald Trump and his surrogates. These are actions that are being generated by opponents of Donald Trump trying to force actions out of the Trump team.
'An outstanding development'
It is kind of extraordinary for Trump to level this charge to his 20 million followers on Twitter, says Charles Ortel, investor and writer. It probably means the US leader has good reasons for doing so, he added.
RT: Trump also insinuated he was considering legal action over the case. How likely is that in your opinion, and where could it lead?
Charles Ortel: Look at Donald Trump’s long career employing lawyers. I think this is probably even out of his hands. This is an astounding development. I don’t think it has ever happened in American history for a sitting President to level this kind of accusation against his predecessor, 45 days into his first term. This is amazing stuff.
RT: A spokesperson for Barack Obama rejects Trump's assertion. Does that put an end to the matter, in your view?
CO: I take issue with it. Actually it is weasel words. The way this would work is that the FBI and the Department of Justice would make the request. Would they do this on the direct order of Obama, on the suggestion of Obama, or on the suggestion of somebody in his administration? They certainly wouldn’t do it on their own. So it is absolutely not a clean rejection of what may have happened. It is also kind of extraordinary for Trump to level this charge to his 20 million followers on Twitter. He would not do this without some excellent reasons knowing the consequences of being shown wrong. I don’t think that is a strong rejection. I note also that the first (rejection) came from Ben Rhodes, who couldn’t even get a security clearance after the November 2008 election for some unexplained reason… I assume there is strong evidence backing up these charges.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.