President Trump, who is being subjected to increasing scrutiny both in Congress and in the press, “looked like a third grader trying to squirm out of a lie” on a Fox interview on Wednesday night according to CNN’s political director.
In the interview, which was recorded earlier on Wednesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked Trump about his allegations that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign, claims that he tweeted earlier this month. Neither Trump nor the White House have provided any evidence of the explosive claims.
David Chalian, who oversees all of the political coverage across all CNN platforms, appeared on air on Thursday after the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Chair of which has been reluctant to make any claims against Trump, announced that it had seen no evidence of Trump’s claims.
“Yesterday on Fox, he was still trying to worm his way out of the lie about wiretapping on that word,” Chailan said. “Saying you’re going to see in next couple weeks — something’s gonna come out — saying surveillance more broadly. They say no!”
“It’s just not okay for the President of the United States to make this kind of completely unsubstantiated claim. He has a lot on his desk right now … there is no end to the list of really big things that he really should be focusing on and pushing through on his agenda, and this is a complete distraction from that,” Chalian added as he listed all of the large agenda items that should be taking precedence over the false wiretapping claims.
Chalian also made the rare move of saying that Trump should retract his claims and apologize to President Obama. Recent events “are now providing a path to the president where he can no longer justify not retracting those tweets and apologizing to Barack Obama of a crime without any evidence whatsoever. I just think the White House is just in such a pickle on this,” he said.
“The President looked like a third grader in that interview yesterday trying to squirm out of a lie.”
The heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a statement on Thursday that they have not seen any evidence that Obama or his administration placed Trump Tower under any form of surveillance — wiretapping or otherwise.
“Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016,” Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a joint statement.