Politics

Trump Defends Surveillance Claims In TIME Interview

| by Ray Brown

In a wide-ranging interview with Time, President Donald Trump touched on a number of subjects, including his claims that former President Barack Obama placed surveillance on his campaign, as well as other controversial remarks that have been widely disputed.

In a March 4 tweet, Trump accused Obama of placing surveillance on his campaign headquarters in New York City.

"Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! " Trump wrote.

Since then, the Trump administration has failed to provide evidence to proves the claim, but Trump attempted too clarify his comments in the Time interview.

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"When I said wiretapping, it was in quotes. Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wire tapping," Trump said. "It is just a good description. But wiretapping was in quotes. What I’m talking about is surveillance."

Trump then pointed to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who said on March 22 that members of Trump's transition team, of which he was a part of, were under legal surveillance when speaking to foreign officials.

"I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community ... collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition," said Nunes, according to Reuters.

Such surveillance is common, but U.S. intelligence workers are usually not supposed to "unmask" the American citizens in the communications, which Nunes said they did in these cases, but that it was not part of the Russian investigation.

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"I want to be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team," he said.

Time then asked Trump about his claim that 3 million undocumented immigrants voted in the 2016 presidential election, which has been roundly disputed because there's no evidence to suggest it's true.

"We’ll see after the committee. I have people say it was more than that. We will see after we have," Trump said. "But there will be, we are forming a committee. And we are going to do a study on it, a very serious problem."

Trump also addressed his claim during the Republican primary that the father of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was a close associate of Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin who killed former President John F. Kennedy.

"Well that was in a newspaper," Trump explained. "No, no, I like Ted Cruz, he’s a friend of mine. But that was in the newspaper. I wasn’t, I didn’t say that. I was referring to a newspaper. A Ted Cruz article referred to a newspaper story with, had a picture of Ted Cruz, his father, and Lee Harvey Oswald, having breakfast."

Sources: TIME, Reuters, Donald J. Trump/Twitter / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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