Michael Hayden, the former National Security Advisor, and CIA Director, has dismissed allegations that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign in 2016.
“In the 1970s, we took the authority to direct that action out of the hands of the president and we put it in the hands of the federal court system,” Hayden explained on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” after responding “no” to if it was possible for Obama to order a wiretap.
“So the only part of the U.S. government, which has the authority, the only part of the U.S. government that can grant the authority to do that, is a federal judge,” Hayden added.
“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen,” Kevin Lewis, a spokesperson for Obama, said in a statement. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
On the subject of the Wikileaks report on the CIA using smart televisions to spy on homeowners, Kevin Lewis explained “I can tell you that these tools would not be used against an American.”
This isn’t the first time Obama has come under scrutiny for ordering surveillance.
In April and May of 2012, the Department of Justice obtained phone records of editors and staff of the Associated Press. These records covered more than 20 separate phone lines and listed outgoing calls for both work and personal phones used by members of staff at AP.
“Obtaining a broad range of telephone records in order to ferret out a government leaker is an unacceptable abuse of power.”
“Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy, and that freedom often depends on confidential communications between reporters and their sources,” said Ben Wizner director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project when the intrusion happened.
— Pamela Geller (@PamelaGeller) March 9, 2017
— Brave New World (@ClubBayern) March 7, 2017
— Zak Z. (@ZakWHgov) March 6, 2017