Trump's own team was totally blindsided by his Obama wiretapping theory

Trump's own team was totally blindsided by his Obama wiretapping theory
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

President Donald Trump's handlers, following in the tradition of campaign staff who tried to control the media Trump receives to dissuade him from voicing his discontent on Twitter, woke up Saturday morning to find themselves completely out of the loop on where the president heard Barack Obama wiretapped him, Politico reported.

Trump tweeted the explosive claims Saturday in response to stories the FBI was investigating ties between him and the Russian government. He did not provide any evidence to back the assertions up, and Obama has stringently denied he ordered the supposed wiretaps (or ones on any other U.S. citizen).

The tweets blindsided White House staff, who had no idea what the president was talking about, according to Politico.

"One White House official said he woke up Saturday morning to Trump's tweets and grimaced. It was unclear, this person said, where the president had gotten the idea, but that it likely wasn't from an official source. 'It could have come from anywhere,'" according to Politico. 

The site added, "Several other people close to Trump said they weren't sure where he got his information for the posts. One of these people said most of Trump's aides were back in Washington and woke up exasperated at the posts."

The tirade must sting especially bad after Trump earned media accolades for a restrained joint address to Congress in which he did not bring up any unscripted notions about the nation's politics, only to once again use Twitter to float them.

While it's unclear where Trump specifically could have picked up the idea, recent history offers a few clues.

One of his other recent claims, that the national media is deliberately not covering terror attacks to minimize the urgency of his immigration agenda, appeared to mirror headlines on far-right conspiracy website InfoWars. The site's founder Alex Jones, who is perhaps most famous for claiming the government puts chemicals in water that "turn the friggin frogs gay," told German newspaper Der Spiegel he and Trump are in consistent contact.

 "It is surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word for word hear Trump say it two days later," Jones quipped during the closing stages of the presidential campaign. 

Trump is apparently a fan of other right-wing outlets, which spin alarmist coverage out of comparatively little cloth, such as Gateway Pundit, whose reporter Lucian Wintrich was recently added to the White House press pool. In February, Wintrich told Mic questions about his qualifications were "Soros' propaganda," a reference to right-wing theories the Jewish billionaire is bankrolling protests around the country.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Here are five ways Anthony Scaramucci has already channeled Donald Trump

"I'm very, very loyal to the president."

The health care vote is less than 48 hours away and Republicans don’t know what they’re voting on

One Senate Democrat said it's "bananas" that Republicans are planning a vote but have no idea what will be voted on.

Jared Kushner releases statement, describes four meetings with Russians

Kushner says he met with Russians during and after the campaign but denies collusion.

3 key takeaways ahead of Jared Kushner’s questioning by Senate Intelligence Committee

Three key takeaways on Kushner's meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

White House comms director Anthony Scaramucci says he’ll start firing people “if leaks don’t stop”

Scaramucci says he will take "dramatic action to stop those leaks."

CNN’s Jake Tapper and Anthony Scaramucci trade barbs in heated interview

The heated interview with the new White House communications director took place Sunday on CNN's 'State of the Union with Jake Tapper.'

Here are five ways Anthony Scaramucci has already channeled Donald Trump

"I'm very, very loyal to the president."

The health care vote is less than 48 hours away and Republicans don’t know what they’re voting on

One Senate Democrat said it's "bananas" that Republicans are planning a vote but have no idea what will be voted on.

Jared Kushner releases statement, describes four meetings with Russians

Kushner says he met with Russians during and after the campaign but denies collusion.

3 key takeaways ahead of Jared Kushner’s questioning by Senate Intelligence Committee

Three key takeaways on Kushner's meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

White House comms director Anthony Scaramucci says he’ll start firing people “if leaks don’t stop”

Scaramucci says he will take "dramatic action to stop those leaks."

CNN’s Jake Tapper and Anthony Scaramucci trade barbs in heated interview

The heated interview with the new White House communications director took place Sunday on CNN's 'State of the Union with Jake Tapper.'