Philadelphia (CBS) – Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson assessed President Donald Trump’s accusations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones and office during the presidential campaign, dismissing Trump’s allegation that the order came directly from Obama but telling Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that it is within the realm of possibility that the then-GOP nominee was electronically monitored.
“When President Trump speaks, he takes liberties with the facts sometimes and what he’s trying to say is not exactly what he means or in the bounds of what he knows. So, that much I know,” Attkisson said. “Of course, it’s not ridiculous to think that President Trump is being monitored by by the Obama administration, at least in my mind. We know that USA Today, The New York Times reported on wiretaps, so there either were wiretaps of sort or the reports were wrong by these major publications, which is entirely possible.”
Attkisson said a president would never directly dictate something like Trump has claimed, but there are many ways that surveillance of that type could occur.
“The president did not order anybody’s wiretaps. I don’t think that would ever happen. It’s not how it works. According to my sources, it’s not necessarily an official DOJ operation. People like me can be caught up in the government’s war on whistle blowers with legitimate or seemingly legitimate reasons to be listening or wiretapping certain people and then you can be wrapped up in the so-called ‘meta data,'” Attkisson explained.
She also revealed how easy it is for intelligence agencies to spy on almost anyone if they really want to.
“You can be wrapped up on purpose with your name not even on a wiretap order simply because of the interactions you have with other people that they can wrap up in a wiretap order. There doesn’t even have to be an order in certain circumstances, they can surveil month by month,” she said. “They can surveil by court orders over the long term. There’s a lot of ways, according to my sources, that give actors the ability to, possibly, legally even, listen into you, even though it may be inappropriate.”