CNN is constantly running “breaking news” to the effect that no evidence has emerged to substantiate Trump’s wiretapping claim, as if scoring Trump on the precision of his tweet is the central story here. Notice that CNN never asks Democrats the fundamental question: Did the Obama administration investigate Trump campaign associates? To that question, the Adam Schiffs would fall silent.
Unless all of the stories that Obama administration officials planted over the last few months in outlets from the BBC to the New York Times were an elaborate hoax, it is going to emerge that, at the very least, steps were taken to investigate Trump campaign associates. Then the issue becomes: Why? Why would Obama administration officials go to the trouble of forming a reported multi-agency group to investigate just three Trump campaign associates (two of whom left the campaign and one who had little to no role in it)?
In his shorthandish way, Trump was saying in his tweet: If they are going after my campaign associates, they are going after me. And that is not an unreasonable claim, any more than it would have been unreasonable for John Gotti to conclude that a multi-pronged FBI investigation into his minor associates was really an investigation into him.
BBC reporter Paul Wood, who wrote one of the articles that launched this story, presents the multi-agency investigation in the same light that Trump sees it. Here is the key paragraph:
A lawyer — outside the Department of Justice but familiar with the case — told me that three of Mr Trump’s associates were the subject of the inquiry. “But it’s clear this is about Trump,” he said.
This is about Trump. After Wood’s story appeared, there were no denials from the Clappers and the Comeys. Nor were there any expressions of dismay from Democrats. When it was to their partisan advantage to support the this-is-about-Trump storyline, they supported it. Now that it is to their partisan advantage to deny that storyline, they deny it. And a propagandistic media lets them get away with it by treating this story as a game of parsing and semantics, all the while playing dumb about the very investigation their own coverage for the last four months either pushed or presupposed.