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Trump to Merkel on Obama Wiretapping: We Have Something in Common (video)

Posted by FactReal on March 17, 2017

FACT: The media started with the “wiretapping” and “surveillance” claims – Not Trump (proof here)

FACT: Obama spied on the German Chancellor and German reporters
During today’s joint press conference between President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a reporter asked Trump about the wiretapping claims.

President Trump gestured to Ms. Merkel and said while smiling: “As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past [Obama] administration, at least we have something in common perhaps.”

(scroll down for facts)

We still don’t know if there was or wasn’t any surveillance on Trump by the Obama administration, but we know the mainstream news outlets for months have been pushing that still-unproven narrative: That Trump team was under surveillance by many Obama agencies because of a supposed collusion with the Russians that somehow led to Trump winning the 2016 presidential elections.

The New York Times reported on January 20, 2017: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.”
On January 20, 2017: The now [in]famous New York Times front page on the eve of Trump’s Inauguration Day proudly stated: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.”

Weeks later (March 4, 2017) is when Trump mentioned the wiretapping when he tweeted: “Obama had my ‘wires tapped…'”


WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. […]

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. […]

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the [Obama] White House.

The Obama administration was previously accused of wiretapping the phone of the German Chancellor Merkel.

Even today’s bias report from CNN[1] reminds us that the Obama’s NSA tapped Merkel’s phone:

Turning to Merkel, who was angry to find out after leaks by Edward Snowden that the [Obama’s] US National Security Agency had tapped her phone, Trump said “at least we have something in common”.

The Economic Times reported in 2013, “Barack Obama knew about NSA’s spying on Angela Merkel: Report”[2]

BERLIN: US President Barack Obama knew that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone was being tapped and personally approved the spying, which may have begun as early as 2002, a damning media report said today.

Obama was informed about the National Security Agency’s tapping of Merkel’s mobile phone already in 2010 by its director Keith Alexander, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported, widening the espionage scandal.

The president “not only did not stop the operation, but he also ordered it to continue,” a high-ranking NSA official was quoted as saying by the paper.

The White House later ordered the spy agency to prepare a detailed dossier on the chancellor.

President Obama did not trust Merkel and wanted to know everything about her, Bild said quoting the official, who was not identified.

Subsequently, the NSA stepped up its surveillance of Merkel and snooped into all conversations made with her mobile phone in communicating with her party colleagues, the newspaper said.

In July 2015, Jake Tapper from CNN reported: “Obama administration spied on German media as well as its government”[3]

Washington (CNN) An investigation by the German parliament is raising questions on whether the Obama administration not only spied on journalists in that country, but also interfered in the exercise of the free press under the guise of U.S. national security.

On Thursday, Germany’s intelligence coordinator, Günter Heiss, testified before a parliamentary investigative committee of the German parliament, the Bundestag, focused on the activities of the U.S. National Security Agency’s spying on Germany and whether the German intelligence agency BND had any knowledge of it.

That the NSA was spying on German officials is not new, though it continues to upset free press advocates and those with memories of repressive governments both Communist and Nazi. In 2013, the German magazine Der Spiegel, using information gleaned from files stolen and leaked by Edward Snowden, first reported that the NSA was intercepting German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone communications.

On Thursday, WikiLeaks released more information, presumably from that surveillance, from a conversation between Merkel and her personal assistant in October 2011, saying the Chancellor “professed to be at a loss” between two courses of action to take in the Greek financial crisis. The WikiLeaks release also suggested that the NSA was spying on German ministers in addition to Merkel. The U.S. ambassador to Germany, John Emerson, was summoned to meet with the Chancellery chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, to discuss the news.

Less observed this week was news that the NSA was eavesdropping not only on Merkel, but also in some capacity on Germany’s free press, specifically Der Spiegel.

CNN has learned that in early summer 2011, the CIA station chief in Berlin (also representing the NSA at the U.S. Embassy) met with Heiss and his assistant Guido Müller. The CIA station chief urged the two men to take action against Heiss’ deputy, Hans-Josef Vorbeck, who he said was leaking classified information to journalists. […]

That the U.S. government thought it appropriate to spy on journalists doing their jobs is controversial enough. But why would it be appropriate for U.S. officials to use these tools — given to save lives and protect U.S. national security — to notify the German government about officials talking to reporters in the normal exercise of a free press? […]

German journalists have a much different take, not surprisingly.

“It feels bitter to learn that American intelligence agencies spied on reporters in another country and denounced alleged sources to the government,” said one reporter involved, who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions from his government or the U.S. government. “This is something I expected to happen in authoritarian states like Russia or China, but not in a democracy.” […]

None of those statements suggest that the Obama administration necessarily sees anything wrong in spying on the free press of another country, and then using that information to inform the government of that country about officials who might be cooperating with the press. Indeed, all of the statements suggest that the NSA can do whatever it wants if it believes national security to be at stake, a loose and amorphous principle that apparently includes interfering with a free press exercising its right to obtain information. […]

It is clear that regardless of the national security principle, the Obama administration has been embarrassed before the world and seen its diplomatic efforts weighed down by the drip-drip-drip of these revelations. Last week, the French government summoned the U.S. ambassador after WikiLeaks released information suggesting the NSA had spied on French President Francois Hollande and his two predecessors.

[1] CNN: Trump tells Merkel: ‘At least we have something in common’ about wiretapping – Fri. March 17, 2017
[2] The Economic Times: Barack Obama knew about NSA’s spying on Angela Merkel: Report – Oct. 27, 2013
[3] CNN: Obama administration spied on German media as well as its government
By Jake Tapper – Sat July 4, 2015


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