Former Whitehouse spokesliar Josh Earnest appeared with Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week,” in an interview in which she asked directly the question that he knew would be coming, that of the veracity of President Trump’s claims that Obama wiretapped his offices and his staff during the campaign.
Raddatz references a tweet by former Obama speech writer, Jon Favreau, in which he urged caution, saying, “I’d be careful about reporting that Obama said there was no wiretapping. Statement just said that neither he nor the White House ordered it.”
Raddatz asks, “Can you categorically deny that the Obama Justice Department did not seek and obtain a FISA court ordered…”
Earnest, who has a history of problems with his mouth contacting the truth, says, “What I can categorically deny, Martha, is that the White House was at all involved in directing or interfering or influencing an FBI investigation of any sort.”
She points out to him, “that’s not what I’m asking,” and tries again using the same confusing double negative. “What I’m asking is can you deny the Obama Justice Department did not seek and obtain a FISA court ordered wiretap of the Trump campaign.”
He can’t tell the truth and he has to protect Obama, that’s why he’s on the program, so his next best available tactic is to plead ignorance while still asserting the highest standards of integrity at the swamp outhouse. Earnest says, “It was a cardinal rule, here’s the simple answer to that question, Martha, I don’t know. And it’s not because I’m no longer in government, the fact is even when I was in government, I was not in a position of being regularly briefed on an FBI criminal or counterintelligence investigation.” It’s once again irrelevant response. He could have been briefed once and been aware of a wiretap.
He says, “No one at the White House, including the president of the United States, should be in a position in which they’re trying to influence or dictate how that investigation is being conducted.” Obama did a lot of things he shouldn’t have done, that again is irrelevant. Raddatz lets him get away with those dodges.
She then asks, “Do you know whether the ‘president’ was ever given information about surveillance at Trump Tower.” Earnest replies, “What I can tell you, well, first of all, I’m not aware of all of the details of how the ‘president’ was briefed by the FBI, but what I can tell you is the ‘president’ was not giving marching orders to the FBI of how to conduct their investigations. He was not asking for regular updates on FBI investigations.”
She asked Earnest a yes or no question that involved none of those other qualifiers that he threw out for deflection. She asked if he knew Obama got information about surveillance at Trump Tower, that’s either a yes or a know based upon what he knows, not based upon anything else. As for his claim about regular updates, aside from not being an answer to her question, attaching the characteristic of “regular” onto the updates gives him the ability to answer a different question than what was asked without it being obvious.
Earnest completes the laying down of the smoke screen, saying, “And let me just stipulate one more time, you have to ask the FBI whether there actually is an investigation into Mr. Trump, his associates, his campaign. That’s for them to talk about; that is not something that was talked about or directed or managed by the White House because this is a cardinal rule. These are rules that have been in place since Watergate and for good reason.
Translation – “I’m out of lies, I’m tired of tap dancing, talk to somebody else.” It’s clear Earnest is obfuscating and covering up for what was an operation run out of the White House. He just removed all reasonable doubt with his inability to issue a truthful denial.
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