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Donald Trump Was Not Wiretapped By Obama, Former CIA Director Michael Hayden Tells Stephen Colbert

Deadline logo Deadline 3/8/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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UPDATED with video: “On Saturday morning, at 6:35 in the morning the president tweeted that Barack Obama wiretapped him in Trump Tower. Is that possible?” CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert asked Michael Hayden, the retired United States Air Force four-star general who is former Director of the National Security Agency, and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

“No,” Hayden answered.

“How is that not possible?” Colbert asked, noting the United States government has the power to wiretap, and there are all these Russian rumors about the Trump campaign.

“Why wouldn’t the president do this?” Colbert wondered.

“Because in the 1970’s we took the authority to direct that action out of the hands of the president, and we put it in the hands of the federal court system,” Hayden said. Only a federal judge can grant that authority.

And yet, Trump said he’s found out it happened, calling Obama a bad or sick guy. Then he called for an investigation.

“On Saturday morning, he seemed to have forgotten that he was the President of the United States,” Hayden said. Trump could simply have contacted former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, and FBI director Jim Comey, had them over for lunch, and asked if Obama had tapped Trump Tower, he added.

“He did not choose to do that. He decided to go ahead and tweet out the accusation, as if it were fact,” Hayden scoffed.

“Should, in your opinion, the president be tweeting  this?” Colbert asked, in case anyone had not already figured that out Hayden’s position on the matter.

“No,” Hayden answered.

“If it were true, that the previous president, Obama,  had used, through some governmental mechanism, a plumber squad even, something just criminal  –

“Which is why we took the power away from the president in the 1970’s,” Hayden interrupted.

“…because Nixon did this,” Colbert finished the sentence.

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