WH Spokesman: ‘If This Happened…Would Be the Greatest Abuse of Power and Overreach…Ever’

By Susan Jones | March 6, 2017 | 7:30am EST
Deputy White House Communications Director Sarah Huckabee Sanders told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that if President Trump's wiretapping accusations are true, it would be “the greatest overreach and the greatest abuse of power that I think we have ever seen.” (Screen grab from ABC News)

(CNSNews.com) – “Let's have an investigation,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told an agitated Martha Raddatz, guest host of ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “If they're going to investigate Russia ties, let's include this as part of it. And so that's what we're asking.”

Sanders was responding to the furor prompted by several tweets from Donald Trump on Sunday, in which Trump accused Obama of having “my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower” during the election.

Sanders said if it’s true, it would be “the greatest overreach and the greatest abuse of power that I think we have ever seen.”

Here’s how part of the Raddatz-Sanders exchange went:

RADDATZ: The president of the United States is accusing the former president of wiretapping him.

SANDERS: I think that this is, again, something that if this happened, Martha.

RADDATZ: If, if, if, if.

SANDERS: I agree.

RADDTAZ: Why is the president saying it did happen?

SANDERS: Look, I think he is going off of information that he's seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential. And if it is, this is the greatest overreach and the greatest abuse of power that I think we have ever seen and a huge attack on democracy itself. And the American people have a right to know if this took place.

RADDATZ: OK. The president, let me say again, the president said it did take place. Why does he believe these articles that you say you cite and I'm saying, they are not definitive. The Breitbart brings them all together, and Heat Street. They have two sources with links to the counterintelligence community. That's it. Anonymous sources. The president constantly says he doesn't like anonymous sources, and he doesn't like leakers.

SANDERS: I love how anonymous sources don't count when it's something that's positive in this administration and against the former one. You guys use anonymous sources every single day.

RADDATZ: Is that the bar? Yes, yes, we do. Yes, we do. But the president believe this is -- but what's the bar there? What does the president believe?

SANDERS: Look, I think he's made very clear what he believes. And he's asking that we get down to the bottom of this. Let's get the truth here. Let's find out. I think the bigger story isn't who reported it, but is it true? And I think the American people have a right to know if this happened, because if it did, again this is the largest abuse of power that I think we is have ever seen.

On Saturday, Trump shocked many people with four tweets:

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

-- “Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!

-- “I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!

-- “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

Raddatz on Sunday quoted the Washington Post as saying that “senior U.S. officials with knowledge of wide-ranging federal investigation into Russian interference into the election said there had been no wiretap.”

“Well,” Sanders replied, “they've also said there's no evidence of any wrong doing by the Trump administration, or the Trump campaign in coordination (with the Russians). But that doesn't seem to matter to the media. That point gets continued to be ignored over and over again.

“We have been on this for six months. And you guys continue to ignore that and continue to bring up the investigation. All we're asking is that we have the same level of look into the potential that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower.”

Sanders said she believes “there certainly could have been” a FISA warrant issued, even if Obama himself didn’t order it. “And it sounds like there's something that we should look into and verify.”

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