This Former Obama Spokesman's Theory Behind Trump's Wiretapping Claims Makes So Much Sense

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On Saturday, President Trump fired off a series of tweets accusing President Obama of wiretapping Trump Towers. Ever since then, politicians on both sides of the aisle have been wondering why, exactly, Trump did this. After all, he presented no evidence to support the claim, nor did he explain why the 44th president would do this to begin with. On Sunday a former Obama spokesman spoke his mind on Trump's wiretapping allegations during an interview with ABC. And former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's theory is probably one of the more plausible ones out there.

President Trump is working very hard to try to distract the American public and the news media from the growing scandal about why his administration and why he himself has, at best, not been forthcoming about their talks and their ties with Russia. There is one page in the Trump White House crisis-management playbook, and that is simply to tweet or say something outrageous to distract from a scandal, and the bigger the scandal, the more outrageous the tweet.

Make no mistake: The Trump-Russia story is significant. It's already resulted in two substantive developments from within the administration: The resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, less than a month into the job, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself from any investigation into election-related tampering by the Russians.

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Flynn left his post after The Washington Post reported that after the election, but prior to Trump's inauguration, he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with Russia's ambassador. Flynn later claimed he could not be sure the topic never came up. Earlier, he had denied having such conversations, both to the press and, allegedly, to Vice President Mike Pence. Meanwhile, Sessions opted to recuse himself after it was revealed that, contrary to what he said under oath during his Senate confirmation hearings, he had had two meetings with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. However, he claimed to have never discussed matters relevant to the campaign during those meetings. Instead, his spokeswoman suggested he took the meetings as "a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee."

Given all of this, it's understandable that Trump would seek to distract from the Russia allegations with a bombastic accusation about Obama. But it's not going to make people stop talking about Russia.

To be sure, it's entirely possible that Trump and his team are in the clear with regard to Russia, and did nothing wrong or illegal. If that's the case, it will become clear after additional reporting and possibly investigations. However, the Trump-Russia story will not disappear just because Trump accuses his predecessor of wiretapping his property — that's not how this works.