Monday, April 3, 2017

Even if Trump isn't Technically Correct About Wiretapping...

It is apparently indirectly true.  4/3/17 Bloomberg News:
White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The pattern of Rice's requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government's policy on "unmasking" the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like "U.S. Person One."...
The news about Rice also sheds light on the strange behavior of Nunes in the last two weeks. It emerged last week that he traveled to the White House last month, the night before he made an explosive allegation about Trump transition officials caught up in incidental surveillance. At the time he said he needed to go to the White House because the reports were only on a database for the executive branch. It now appears that he needed to view computer systems within the National Security Council that would include the logs of Rice's requests to unmask U.S. persons. 


  1. I believe Trump "wiretapped" in quotes, meaning that he was using it as a general, rather than specific term.

  2. "wiretapping" has one fewer letters than "surveillance".
    In the world of twitter, one letter can make a difference.

    I recall in law school revising our Moot Court brief so that we came in under the page limit. We shortened sentences, we rephrased sentences so that line breaks would have fewer blank spaces before the line break, all to communicate our arguments within the page limits.

    Twitter is an even more Procrustean Bed than 20 pages for a brief, so it is not a great leap of logic to assume someone looks for a more laconic phrasing to make the limit.