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Tapper: Hillary Clinton Said She Takes Responsibility For Decisions; Then Blamed Obama, Comey, Putin


Jake Tapper reacts to 2016 Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton claiming to take responsibility for her loss to President Donald Trump while also blaming then-FBI Director James Comey, a Democratic party in chaos and "Pearl Harbor" like coverage of her. JAKE TAPPER, CNN: So she's talking obviously about some of the fallout from the controversy about her private e-mail server, but also saying something that actually a lot of Democrats had criticized President Obama for which was not doing enough to build up the data and the technology in the DNC and faulting Debbie Wasserman Schultz as well. She said something interesting at this conference. She says she takes responsibility for all the decisions made during the campaign, but I'm paraphrasing her, but that's not why she lost. In other words, she didn't lose because of any of the decisions she made. She lost because of Comey and Putin and more.

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CNN ‘Jake Tapper’ Panel On Kathy Griffin: “We’ve Got Much Bigger Issues To Focus On”


CNN contributor David Urban declared "we've got much bigger issues to focus on" in a CNN panel that touched on Katy Griffin's photoshoot with the severed head of President Donald Trump. "It's pretty disgusting, and I can't imagine how anybody would think that's appropriate," Tapper said. From Tuesday's panel on The Lead with Jake Tapper: BALL: Who is saying it's acceptable discourse? TAPPER: Donald Trump, Jr. BALL: Who is saying it's even discourse? I mean have a hard time bringing myself to care about something like this. I think it just speaks to the need to see themselves as a victim that they have, that they are constantly being persecuted. TAPPER: The Trumps you're talking about. BALL: The Trump people are constantly having to point to the elites who are looking down on them. Of course, comedians and celebrities say dumb stuff and do dumb stuff and violence is not appropriate, but I just don't think that that's the source of President Trump's problems. TAPPER: David? URBAN: I think we've got much bigger issues to focus on than Kathy Griffin. TAPPER: Jen, do you want to weigh in at all? PSAKI: Agreed with David. (via Breitbart TV)

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Maher To Democrats: “Ease Up On The Identity Politics,” Obsessing Over ‘Pocahontas’ A Problem


Bill Maher said the obsession Democrats have about Halloween costumes, the name Washington Redskins and Elizabeth Warren being called 'Pocahontas' is part of the problem. In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Maher acknowledged the term Pocahontas is derogatory but said Democrats needs to worry less about that and focus more on "I'm going to get your job back." From Tuesday's broadcast of CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper: JAKE TAPPER: You said on your show that liberals need to stop trying to win over Trump voters with facts. So what should Democrats do to win over Trump voters? BILL MAHER: Well, I was just going to say, a bit of it should ease up on the identity politics. They pulled off quite a neat trick in 2016. They made white people who are still the majority in this country feel like a minority or at least enough of them to swing the election. So, I think that's important. Make sure you look like you represent everybody, including the majority. Tapper asks Maher about the uncomfortable response Warren gave when he brought up Trump's nickname for her, Pocahontas: TAPPER: You interviewed Senator Elizabeth Warren last week. I want to show our viewers a moment from that interview. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: When you talk — BILL MAHER: Well, his fans are not with you. WARREN: Hold on. MAHER: Come on. WARREN: When we talk. MAHER: They don't like you, Pocahontas. [A visually unhappy Warren] [LAUGHTER] TAPPER: That was a tense little moment there. What did you make of her reaction, and do you think when the president calls her that that it's an ethnic slur? MAHER: Technically yes. Should we get that upset about it? Of course not. This is, again, one of the problems that Democrats have. Is that they obsess about things like Halloween costumes and the name of the Washington Redskins and there's millions of people in this country who are saying, 'How about a little bit more of I'm going to get your job back?' Maher: Clinton was not a great candidate

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Tapper Reacts To Poll: “Fake News” That Obama Admin Spied On Trump Campaign


CNN's Jake Tapper reacts to a poll that shows a "shockingly high" percentage of Americans believe then-President Obama ordered surveillance on then-candidate Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The ABC/Washington Post poll shows 32% of those polled think Obama intentionally spied on Trump while 58% disagree. "This is the time for you, the public, to demand evidence from your leaders and from your media, even if you already agree with the politics of the person on your TV," Tapper said Wednesday night. JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Finally from us tonight, we noticed some numbers that alarmed us today. They appeared in an ABC News/Washington Post poll showing a shockingly high percentage of Americans believe President Obama intentionally spied on Donald Trump and members of his campaign. This all began, of course, on March 4th after a long frustrating week for the president. At the end of which, he suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere began a succession of tweets that started with, "Terrible, just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism." Now, if McCarthyism is defined as making wild accusations without any evidence, the only thing that was McCarthyism were the president's tweets. Any evidence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: You know, any evidence that this has occurred, the intelligence committee has not seen evidence that this has occurred. (END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: How about you, FBI Director James Comey? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside — (END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: So that would have seemingly been that, except that the president and his team kept pushing ways to try to make this evidence free claim somewhere sort of possibly in the neighborhood of almost not entirely false. Now they failed, but they muddied the waters quite a bit. And now here are the shocking numbers from today. 32 percent of the public thinks President Obama intentionally spied on Donald Trump and members of his campaign and 52 percent of Republicans believe this charge. A charge that there is literally no evidence to support. It is the definition of fake news. Now, look, this is America and you can believe whatever you want to believe. 18 percent of the public says they've seen or been in the presence of a ghost. I mean whatever. But in a thriving democracy, truth matters and facts matter. We learned in the campaign that Donald Trump can be cavalier about facts and truth. We learned in his first 100 days that that's not going to change. Indeed, that some in the government and some of his friends and conservative media will even work to tried and make his falsehoods seem true. But you know what? There's also a lot of incendiary nonsense against President Trump on the left to these days that is just as fake and just as free of any evidence. Both in progressive media and all over twitter being retweeted by otherwise sensible folks. This is a time for all journalists to be extra careful about our own reporting to make sure we adhere strictly to facts and cogent analysis. And this is the time for you, the public, to demand evidence from your leaders and from your media, even if you already agree with the politics of the person on your TV.

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Pelosi On Spicer’s “Blood On Their Hands” Comment: “Shame On Him”; Sanctuary Cities Are A Religious Idea


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi responds to White House press secretary Sean Spicer saying those who support sanctuary cities have "blood on their hands." In an interview with CNN, the San Francisco Congresswoman said Spicer's remark was "beneath the dignity" of his office. Pelosi said sanctuary cities is a religious idea to "keep our city safe." "The idea of sanctuary cities is an idea that came together with the religious community. Bring people together to say how can we protect our people, keep our city safe, that's an oath that we all take no matter what we're doing — we take an oath to protect the American people, and this is a way to do that," Pelosi said. "To use the term 'blood' this is really beneath the dignity of the debate that we have to have about the oath of office we take to protect the American people," Pelosi said in an interview with Jake Tapper. Spicer's statement on the judge who ruled against denying federal funds for sanctuary cities: San Francisco, and cities like it, are putting the well-being of criminal aliens before the safety of our citizens, and those city officials who authored these policies have the blood of dead Americans on their hands. This San Francisco judge's erroneous ruling is a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country, empowering the worst kind of human trafficking and sex trafficking, and putting thousands of innocent lives at risk.

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Mulvaney: Trump Willing To Sign Government Spending Bill Without Wall Funding


CNN: White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper that President Trump is willing to sign a government spending bill that will not include funding for a border wall. From the Tuesday night broadcast of CNN's The Lead: JAKE TAPPER, CNN: So we're talking about this potential government shutdown if this funding bill doesn't work itself out. And let me just ask you, the House is controlled by Republicans, the Senate is controlled by Republicans, the White House is controlled by Republicans. What's the problem? MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT & BUDGET: Yes. The problem is the Senate rules, people forget this sometimes, that the spending bills are different than the budget. The underlying budgets sort of move through the House and Senate differently. Anything that passes on reconciliation moves differently. But most bills, including spending bills, take 60 votes in the Senate. TAPPER: So you need eight Democrats. MULVANEY: Got to have eight, which means that Chuck Schumer and the Democrats have a place at the table. We recognize that. But that's why we just can't do it on our own. TAPPER: A source close to efforts to avoid a government shutdown tells CNN that the Republican proposal in the House will not include funding for President Trump's border wall with Mexico. Is President Trump willing to sign a government spending bill that does not include that money? MULVANEY: Yes, because I think the bill — at least the offer that we received from the Democrats the last couple of days included a good bit of money for border security. The Democrats said they would go to the mat and shut the government down over the border wall, the bricks and mortar. But there's a lot of things we agree on, both parties do, in securing the border. And it allows the president to follow through on his promise to make the border more secure. Stop people coming over, stop drugs from coming over. So there's things we can do by way of maintenance and technology, gates, bridges, roads, that kind of stuff, that make a real difference in that southern border security. So… TAPPER: But the president says he's not backing down on the wall. MULVANEY: Well, we're not backing down. Keep in mind, this is just — this bill is just for the last five months of this year. We're actually almost more than halfway through fiscal year '17. We're only talking about through the end of September. The discussion for what to do in fiscal year '18, which starts October 1st, that discussion actually starts as soon as this bill is signed. So we're going to continue these conversations. We just thought that it would be a good first step to get these things that everybody agrees on and take that idea of a government shutdown off the table. From NBC Nightly News Tuesday evening, 'Trump Backs Down From Border Wall Funding Requirement':

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Kirsten Powers: Hillary Clinton Blames Everybody But Herself For Loss


Kirsten Powers reacts to Hillary Clinton blaming FBI Director James Comey, sexism, and WikiLeaks for her loss in the 2016 election for president. KIRSTEN POWERS: Never in this equation is Hillary Clinton to blame for anything, and she was, after all, the candidate. There were outside forces that were affecting the campaign, no question, but there were a lot of things, I think related to her candidacy that were problematic. And I don't think this helps Democrats, frankly, to be looking back at this. I think people want to move on and not seem like sour grapes. It makes the audience she was talking to happy. This was Women in the World, very liberal women, and I think it makes the base happy, but I don't think it's helpful overall. (via Breitbart Video)

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Carter Page vs. CNN’s Jake Tapper: “Of Course” I Wasn’t A Foreign Agent For Russia


CNN: During an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, former Donald Trump adviser Carter Page denies he spoke to any Russian officials about the 2016 US election while working for the Trump campaign Transcript, via CNN: JAKE TAPPER, CNN THE LEAD ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Let's shift to the "POLITICS LEAD" now, and news on the FBI investigation into possible but yet unproven collusion between advisers to the Trump campaign last year and Russians seeking to influence the 2016 Presidential Election. The Washington Post is reporting that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to monitor the communications of then-Trump adviser, Carter Page, during the campaign, a FISA warrant, FISA stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is granted by a very closely-guarded court that handles some of the nation's most secretive government decisions. It is granted a FISA warrant if judges decide there is probable cause that the American in question is working as the agent of a foreign country. Now, before the Trump campaign, Page was in the Navy, he served as an investment banker, he worked in New York, London, and Moscow for three years. He was once an adviser to the Russian energy giant Gazprom, and he has repeatedly denied any impropriety in any meetings with any Russians during the Trump campaign and he joins me now, former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, Carter Page. Carter, thanks so much for joining us. CARTER PAGE, FORMER FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER TO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Thanks for having me, Jake. TAPPER: So, The Washington Post, as you know, has reported last year the FBI went to a FISA judge and argued successfully that there was probable cause to believe that you were acting as an agent for a foreign government. So, my question is, were you? PAGE: Of course, I wasn't, Jake. This is — it's just such a joke that it's beyond words, and what's interesting about it is March 20th, Director Comey, he made the point that people can lie to the press, people can lie to the American public all they want in politics. What's interesting about last night's report is if it's true, well, there is a different standard when it comes to evidence in court. So, all of this false evidence that you've been hearing about myself with the dodgy dossier and other false reports going back through most of the last summer, well, that will — that will have very definite implications, so this is a real game changer if it turns out to be true. TAPPER: What do you mean it's a game changer? How is it a game changer? I mean, at least two times that we know of, the FBI has investigated your links with Russians. In 2016, last year, when they went to the FISA court and got a court order and received permission to monitor your communications, and earlier, as you know, in 2013, the FBI interviewed you, you were dealing with a man named Victor Podobnyy who was charged later with being an unregistered agent of a foreign government, so, that was 2013. At the time, did you have any idea that Podobnyy was a Russian spy. PAGE: I talk to diplomats all the time, and based in New York, a good portion of the time, the United Nations is based here. You're always meeting with foreign diplomats, and the reality is whenever you talk to a foreign government representative, the assumption is that on some level, it's going to go back to the government in question. So, again, I never gave him any information which is material or classified or in any way improper, and the assumption is that it would go back, so it's quite an irrelevant question in my view in terms of my involvement. TAPPER: Well, it's not irrelevant. It's not irrelevant. I mean, there is — you know, if you meet the German Ambassador or the French Ambassador, maybe they'll pass on the information, but we're talking about clandestine services, and he was charged in the U.S. with being an unregistered foreign agent, so I guess my question more specifically is, "OK, you knew that he was Russian, but did you know he was a spy?" PAGE: I did not know that he was a spy when I — when I first met him, although eventually it came out. I mean – TAPPER: Did you think – did you think he was trying to recruit you or get intelligence that would have been inappropriate for you to have shared? PAGE: He never made any indication that he was trying to recruit me. It was all just a casual conversation, exactly what I told my students at New York University. So — and no offer was made and I – there was no negotiation whatsoever. I met him at a conference at Asia Society and at some point later, within a month or so, I believe, it was several years ago, we had coffee once, had had a slight conversation. I gave him a couple of my information from my lectures, some public research reports, and that was the end of it. So … TAPPER: So, let's talk about the 2016 case. The FBI Director has said that convincing a FISA judge to approve surveillance on a U.S. citizen requires so much evidence that the court filings are often thicker than his wrist. Do you have any idea what might have been in the filing last year that convinced a judge to approve surveillance on you by the FBI? PAGE: Well, it's just like President Trump just said when he was discussing the allegations about, you know, who knew what with the chemical weapons. We're — let's not jump to any conclusions, and until there is full evidence and a full investigation has been done, we just don't know. I have the same attitude about this. However, if you look back at all the information that has dribbled out and false information going back to, really, the first major one was the letter from Senator Harry Reid to Director Comey in late August of last year, and it was citing – it was – it was giving some indications of this false evidence, which eventually kept dribbling out, and we saw it in its full glory in early January with the BuzzFeed report. So … TAPPER: Have you talked to the FBI about the Russian investigation? Have you been interviewed by them or questioned by them in any way? PAGE: You know, I tried asking Lisa Monaco at a – at a breakfast meeting in early January about the ongoing allegations about FISA warrants, which had been coming out about me going back to October, and she avoided the question completely, and she also made the point that we don't talk about any ongoing investigations. And I — you know, again, I've always respected confidentiality. I have nothing to say about any ongoing investigations that may or may not be going on. TAPPER: You're not going to comment, is that what you're saying? PAGE: I have no comment, no. TAPPER: Well, I mean, just — I prepared for this interview when I read, you know, a year's worth of stuff about you, and until February, you would say repeatedly the FBI had not contacted you. You stopped saying that in March. Is it fair to assume from that that you have now talked to the FBI and you are just declining to comment because now the facts have changed? PAGE: Well, I have been very forthcoming that I want to get as much information out there as possible, and that has stood from the very beginning, and in several documents which I've sent to both the House and Senate Committees, and I really look forward to having those discussions and really supporting this on-going process as it — as it continues. TAPPER: So, there are a few questions — you talk about wanting to be as honest and open as possible — there are a few questions that in the past you have declined to answer. So, let's give you another opportunity. I think you owe it to the American people and frankly, you owe it to yourself, to clear your name if you're innocent as you say you are. So, the first one, who brought you into the Trump campaign? PAGE: You know, Jake, even if you look on — many shows on CNN, they always have these line diagrams with various faces of people who have supported the Trump campaign over time and various wire diagrams back to President Putin, and very often it's, you know, based on these false reports. I don't want to mention any names because that's just going to add one other senseless dot on that diagram. TAPPER: But Carter, I mean, you want to clear things up. There's nothing wrong about bringing a Russia expert on to a campaign. I'm just asking you who brought you into the campaign. Was it Paul Manafort? PAGE: It was not Paul Manafort. I've never met Paul Manafort, I've never spoken with him. And again, I'm just — out of respect to their privacy, if I told you a name, Jake there, would be dozens of phone calls on that individual's phone within the next ten minutes. (CROSSTALK) TAPPER: Was it Sam Clovis? Was it Sam Clovis? PAGE: I have no comment. I have no comment. TAPPER: Well, I mean, I know you want to get out all this information, but then you refuse to answer questions. (CROSSTALK) TAPPER: There's nothing wrong with somebody bring you into the campaign. I'm just trying to find out who it was. PAGE: It's an irrelevant point. He was not the first person that brought me in. I can assure you of that. TAPPER: Well, at least we know it was a man. So, you told Anderson Cooper that when you talked to Russian Ambassador, Kislyak, around the time of the republican convention, in that group, where there's a bunch of ambassadors and a bunch of people filled with the Trump campaign, you said you talked to him for fewer than ten seconds. OK. I get that. When you went to Russia last summer, did you ever talk to any Russian about the Trump campaign or about the Clinton campaign or about the 2016 election in general? PAGE: No Russian official. I was speaking at a university, and I spoke with many scholars and students and parents that were at the graduation celebrating their kids' achievements. Other than that, nothing. TAPPER: I didn't ask Russian official, I just asked any Russian because obviously, Russians, as you know in Russia, people are affiliated with private industry but they also do work with the government, et cetera. PAGE: Sure. TAPPER: So — but you did not talk to any Russian at all other than students and parents and scholars about the presidential election? PAGE: I met a few business people, but no negotiations about anything in terms of anything related to the campaign whatsoever. TAPPER: Well, I'm not talking about negotiations, but as long as you bring it up, I mean, have you ever conveyed to anyone in Russia that you think President Trump might have been more willing to get rid of the sanctions that were imposed against Russia after they invaded and seized Crimea, which I know our sanctions that you oppose and you think are in effective. Did you ever talk with anyone there about maybe President Trump, if he were elected – then-candidate Trump, would be willing to get rid of the sanctions? PAGE: Never any direct conversations such as that. I mean, look, it's – TAPPER: What do you mean direct conversations? I don't know what that mean, direct conversations. PAGE: Well, I'm just saying no — that was never – I've never said, no. TAPPER: You never said that to anybody that you think that if Donald Trump won, he might be willing to get rid of the Russian sanctions – the sanctions against Russia. PAGE: No. TAPPER: One of the matters the FBI is investigating is, you know, is whether any adviser to the Trump campaign, at any point, discussed the released of the hacked and phished and stolen documents from the DNC and from Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta. Did you ever discuss any of those documents, or the release of them, or the timing of them, when you were in Russia, or with a Russian? PAGE: Absolutely not, absolutely not. TAPPER: Did you ever — PAGE: No advance – no advance warning. I mean, people may have mentioned it after it came out, but — or you're alluded to some of the findings, but no direct discussions. Absolutely not.

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Franken: Jeff Sessions Committed Perjury


CNN: Sen. Al. Franken tells CNN's Jake Tapper he thinks Attorney General Jeff Sessions committed perjury when he failed to mention to him his contacts with the Russian ambassador during his confirmation hearings. JAKE TAPPER, CNN 'THE LEAD' HOST: So, yesterday, Attorney General Sessions sent a letter defending what he told you during his confirmation hearing. Just to bring our viewers back to what this is about, your question talked about the story CNN broke at that moment about whether there may have been contacts between Trump campaign advisors and Russians known to U.S. intelligence and whether U.S. intelligence had been monitoring it. Here is the end of your question with then-senator, now Attorney General Sessions. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SENATOR AL FRANKEN: If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I didn't — did not have communications with the Russians. And I'm unable to comment on it. (END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: Since then, it came out that he had actually met with the Russian ambassador twice although he said he did so in his capacity as a senator and not a campaign surrogate. President Trump even went on to say that, Sessions, quote, "could have stated his response more accurately." Sessions yesterday amended his remarks to the committee saying that his answer was correct and that he, quote, "did not mention communications he had with the Russian ambassador over the years because the question did not ask about them." What's your response, sir? FRANKEN: That's a ridiculous response. It's not a clarification at all. Of course, the question didn't ask about the Russian ambassador. I didn't ask him — he answered a question that he asked himself, which is, did I meet with any Russians, and he answered it falsely. He said, no, I hadn't. So, this response — listen, I've been cutting him a lot of slack. I've been refusing to say that he lied. I've wanted to wait for this letter to come out. It's hard to come to any other conclusion than that he just perjured himself. TAPPER: So, you think he perjured himself. What do you think the penalty should be, do you think he should resign? FRANKEN: I think he should come before the committee and explain this. Of course, no one asked him about the Russian ambassador. He is the one who volunteered that information that he didn't speak to anybody and it turned out he had met twice with the Russian ambassador, once a private meeting. And he had seven weeks to just notify us. This is about the Russian government hijacking our election. And this is about whether there was any collusion in that interference by the Trump campaign. [16:20:05] And it raises all kinds of questions. What do the Russians have on Trump? Why is he being so complimentary to Putin all this time? His son said in 2008 that we have a lot of Russian money coming into our operation or in our organization, our business organization. We need to see the president's income taxes. He lied about that. He said you can't release your income taxes if you're under audit. Yes, you can. TAPPER: Uh-huh. FRANKEN: Also, we asked — he was asked to produce a letter from the IRS saying you're under audit. He can't produce that. TAPPER: Senator, let me ask you, you have been criticized by Republicans, Senator Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said your question was a gotcha question. Folks on "Fox and Friends" — I'm not sure if you saw it — but they criticized — FRANKEN: I don't. I don't watch "Fox and Friends". It's in the morning and I'm usually getting off to work. TAPPER: Just to bring you up to speed, I think they criticized some of the individuals there criticized your question as meandering and confusing. Bottom line, is it possible that Senator Sessions, Attorney General Sessions thought that you were talking about talking to Russians in the capacity as a campaign surrogate versus as a senator? FRANKEN: I asked him a very clear question, which is that if this information turned out to be true, that members of the Trump campaign were — had been talking to the Russians, what would you do, meaning, what would you do as attorney general? And he just answered in a completely different question and said, I haven't talked with the Russians, and that answer was false. I — listen, these people on "Fox and Friends", they can say anything they want. It's very clear that I did not trick him into saying "I didn't meet with the Russians".

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Jake Tapper: Donald Trump’s World “Untethered To Facts”


CNN reports: CNN's Jake Tapper weighs in on President Donald Trump's baseless claim that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign. JAKE TAPPER, CNN'S 'THE LEAD' HOST: The big question, of course, where did the president get this latest conspiracy theory from? As we reported, White House officials say the president's sources were various conservative outlets, most prominently, perhaps, radio host Mark Levin, who seemed to take three basic chunks of information and combine them into one conspiracy theory of what he calls a silent coup going on by the intelligence community and former Obama administration officials. Here are the three chunks. One, leaks from the Intelligence Committee calling out Trump administration officials for giving out inaccurate information about their contacts with the Russians and other stories. Two, news reports that the FBI is investigating possible contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russians. And, three, unconfirmed reports in the British press that the FBI may have sought FISA warrants to monitor Trump campaign communications. Now, those reports say nothing about President Obama being personally involved, nor do they say wiretapping was ever approved on Mr. Trump himself. Now, here's a rather amazing detail. It actually does not appear that any of these conservative outlets reported as fact what President Trump is now claiming that — quote — "Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory." Levin has asked the question as to whether the president is behind the leaks and the surveillance , but when he was directly asked by FOX News if former President Obama was directly involved in any of this, Levin said this: (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARK LEVIN, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: I am not Nostradamus here. I just think that we ought to find out. But I will tell you this. He is more involved than he says. (END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: Now, it would be bad enough if the president valued the conjecture and accusations of these sources more than the facts that he has access to, more than any other person in the world. But it's actually worse than that. President Trump took what Levin and others were saying and made it even less tethered to fact. With conjecture and venom, they alleged a conspiracy. He took it one step further and said it happened and President Obama was behind it. And as we have reported, the FBI director is incredulous at this charge and says it is completely false. Now, are there legitimate reasons to question why all these leaks and what are the motivations for them? Absolutely. But that's now a separate issue. This is about whether President Obama wiretapped President Trump. And the FBI director says it's false. Now, keep in mind, one not irrelevant detail here for anyone out there trying to make sense of this all, we have been here before. This is not a land with much sense or respect for facts. This is place of conspiracy theories, untethered to facts. And these theories are voiced by President Trump. It's Barack Obama faked his birth certificate because he was born in Africa. False. Thousands of New Jersey Muslims were on TV celebrating 9/11. False. Ted Cruz's father had something to do with Lee Harvey Oswald. False. Vaccines cause autism. False. There was something fishy about the deaths of Justice Scalia or Vince Foster. False, false. Inaugural crowd sizes. Three to five million illegal votes. It goes on and on. None of it is true. And the people around President Trump who are enabling this nonsense, the ones who know better, you have to ask yourselves this question. Are you really serving the president? Are you really serving the American people?

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