AIR QUOTES

WH: Trump’s Wiretapping Claim Was Not Meant Literally

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said President Trump’s controversial wiretapping allegations against former President Barack Obama were meant generally, not literally. “He doesn’t really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally,” Spicer said, according to the New York Times. The claim by Trump last weekend that “President Obama was tapping my phones” left intelligence-agency officials baffled, with no evidence available to back up the allegation. The Justice Department, tasked with conducting a probe to support Trump’s claim, has yet to provide any evidence of such wiretapping and on Monday requested more time for its investigation. Spicer seemed to walk back the president’s accusation by suggesting that Trump’s version of “wiretapping” referred to a broad range of surveillance. “The president was very clear in his tweet that it was, you know, ‘wiretapping,’” he said, making a gesture to indicate quotation marks. “That spans a whole host of surveillance types of options,” he said. Spicer went on to back up Trump’s claim, saying there’d been “numerous reports from a variety of outlets over the last couple months that seemed to indicate that there has been different types of surveillance that occurred during the 2016 election.” In the six-part Twitter tirade in which Trump made the claims, he repeatedly accused Obama directly of wiretapping his phones.