March 6, 2017

On at least four occasions during this interview, ABC News' George Stephanopoulis had to interrupt White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders to correct her claim that President Obama ordered illegal wiretaps of Donald Trump.

When asked directly by Stephanopoulis whether Trump believes FBI Director James Comey when he asked the Department of Justice for a direct denial, Huckabee Sanders said, "I don't think he does. I think he firmly believes this is a story line that has been reported pretty widely by quite a few outlets. the wiretapping has been discussed in The New York Times," BBC, Fox News and we believe that --"

Stephanopoulis interrupted her there. "Every single article you just mentioned does not back up the president's claim that President Obama had [Trump] wiretapped. Not a single one of those articles backs that up. So, what is the president's evidence?"

"It does back up the fact that the administration was wiretapping American citizens," she insisted. Clearly she has attended the Kellyanne Conway School Of Factless Assertions.

GSteph stopped her again, reminding her of the facts. "No, Sarah, i have to stop you. that is simply not true." He went on to remind her that one article suggested there may have been a FISA wiretap, but James Clapper denied it.

Still, damage done, right? She's now been able to make false claims twice, and for Those Who Wish To Believe, that is all that matters.

There's actually a media strategy happening here. Twice during this interview Sanders called for Congressional Intelligence Committees to investigate. This is because of all the investigative bodies who could investigate, the GOP-run intelligence committees would be the most favorable to Trump and his spin.

At the very least, we should have an independent, bipartisan commission similar to the 9-11 commission to investigate how Russia or other foreign actors interfered in our elections. The best case would be a special prosecutor with wide subpoena powers, but either one would be far less friendly to Trump than committees led by Republicans.

If there is to be an investigation, Trump wants one where he can get the most favorable investigators. Right now, that's Congress. Lest we forget, Devin Nunes served in the Trump transition and has been an ardent defender of Trump's right to collude with whomever he damn well wants.

In the meantime, playing to the paranoia of a base ripe for conspiracy theories and who is always game for some Obama bashing can't hurt.

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