Comey Undercuts Trump’s False Wiretap Charge

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint on CNN's State of the Union, March 19, 2017

On CNN’s State of the Union show on Sunday morning, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said he was going to “withhold judgment” about Donald Trump’s charge-by-tweet that he had been illegally wiretapped by former President Barack Obama during the campaign. Neither Trump nor his apologists have offered evidence to back up the charge.

“President Obama politicized every agency,” said DeMint. “Nothing would surprise me so I’m going to withhold judgment.”

When Tapper responded by asking DeMint if he wouldn’t be surprised that Obama had “committed an impeachable offense,” DeMint responded that after seeing what Obama had “done around the world through our State Department, what he’s done with his agencies to push a political agenda, Jake, there’s not much that would surprise me.”

On the same panel, Rep. Marsha Blackburn repeatedly pushed back when other guests charged that Trump was lying. “Let’s let the intel committee do their work,” she said, more than once.

Just about 24 hours later, the House Intelligence Committee heard testimony from FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers. Comey told representatives that the FBI and the Department of justice have “no information” that supports Trump’s tweets.

Comey’s unambiguous testimony is not likely, however, to deter DeMint from his cheerleading for the Trump administration.  He told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the entire issue is “a huge distraction” from “the business of the country.”

After all, Trump gave DeMint’s aggressively right-wing Heritage Foundation the opportunity to narrow his potential Supreme Court nominees to a list that they found acceptable. Multiple Heritage staff members have moved into positions in the administration, where they have shaped, among other things, his budget’s slashing attacks on federal agencies and programs that serve low-income Americans.