Trump Praises “Amazing” Fox News Report to Back Unproven Surveillance Claims

The president continues to rely on television over his own intelligence officials.

Olivier Douliery/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


In a series of early morning tweets Monday, President Donald Trump lavished praise on a recent Fox News report that cited an unknown source to allege Trump associates were secretly monitored before he became the Republican nominee for president. The messages were just the latest attempt by Trump to support his ongoing conspiracy theory about being surveilled by the Obama administration—a strategy some say he has used to divert attention from multiple investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Russian ties to his campaign.

Last month, the president set off a spectacle by accusing former President Barack Obama of “wiretapping” him. The unsubstantiated claim took another dramatic turn when the chair of the House Committee intelligence committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Cali.), gave a bizarre press conference to announce he had seen evidence Trump’s team had been “incidentally swept up” in surveillance efforts.

After FBI Director James Comey and other top-level intelligence officials publicly refuted the wiretapping allegation, Trump retreated by also citing Fox News. Conservative outlets have since largely shifted coverage away from the Russia investigations to push the claim that a top intelligence official ordered the “unmasking” of Trump associates.

Trump also muddied the waters on Monday by dragging the five-month-old presidential election back into the picture, with a pair of tweets attacking Hillary Clinton and John Podesta.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate