Democrats’ efforts to raise suspicions about alleged — and, thus far, imaginary — links between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government may have backfired spectacularly. The spotlight is now on President Barack Obama and his administration’s alleged surveillance of the Trump campaign, as well as his aides’ reported efforts to spread damaging information about Trump throughout government agencies to facilitate later investigations and, possibly, leaks to the media. On Sunday morning, the White House released a statement indicating that the president would ask the congressional committees investigating Russian hacking theories to add the question of “whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.” Media outlets continued to repeat that the story was based on “no evidence,” though the evidence was plain. President Donald Trump originally tweeted about the alleged surveillance — which radio host Mark Levin called a “silent coup” by Obama staffers keen to undermine the new administration — on Saturday. Levin’s claims, reported at Breitbart News early Friday, were in turn based on information largely from mainstream outlets, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. Heat Street was one non-mainstream source, but the BBC also reported similar information in January. So, too, did the UK Guardian, which is a mainstream source (albeit with a decidedly left-wing slant, hardly favorable to Trump). All day Saturday, former Obama staffers tried to put out the fires.
This story really HAS “backfired spectacularly.” To read the rest of this outstanding analysis by Joel B. Pollak, just click on the text above.