President Trump said that Trump Tower was being wiretapped. The media thought he was just peddling nutty conspiracy theories, but CNN reported last night that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chief, was wiretapped by the FBI through a FISA warrant that began in 2014 (via CNN) [emphasis mine]:
US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.
The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.
Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is leading the investigation into Russia's involvement in the election, has been provided details of these communications.
A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation that began in 2014. It centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine's former ruling party, the sources told CNN.
The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence, according to one of the sources.
Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower, though the news network could not confirm whether surveillance occurred inside that domicile. Still, for Trump supporters, it’s another instance in which the president is vindicated, despite the lack of clarity on whether Manafort’s residence at Trump Tower was targeted. Regardless, it was another trip up for the media, who scoffed at any wiretapping claim. For the Obama administration, we once again have Susan Rice denying that any sort of activity occurred under Barack’s tenure in office. Wrong again, Susan. Let’s go back to your interview with PBS’ Judy Woodruff in March.
PBS’ JUDY WOODRUFF: We have been following a disclosure by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes (R-CA), that in essence during the final days of the Obama administration, during the transition, after President Trump had been elected—that he and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals, and that their identities may have been disclosed. Do you know anything about this?
SUSAN RICE, Former U.S. National Security Adviser: “I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today. And let`s back up and recall where we have been. The president of the United States accused his predecessor, President Obama, of wiretapping Trump Tower during the campaign. Nothing of the sort occurred, and we have heard that confirmed by the director of the FBI, who also pointed out that no president, no White House can order the surveillance of another American citizen. That can only come from the Justice Department, with the approval of a FISA court.
Recently, the former national security adviser admitted that she did unmask the identities of Trump officials, despite initially saying that she knew nothing about the unmasking. Then, she admitted that it was part of her job. In March, she also penned an op-ed, where she said:
On Monday, FBI Director James B. Comey testified plainly that “I have no information that supports” President Trump’s accusations that his predecessor ordered the “wires tapped” at Trump Tower. These false statements from the White House are part of a disturbing pattern of behavior that poses real and potentially profound dangers to U.S. national security.
Well, it looks like calling it a totally false claim wasn't entirely accurate, huh?