Americans Are Caught Between Trump's Lies and Clapper's Lies. That's Why Trust in Institutions Keeps Declining.

In Donald Trump's and James Clapper's version of "To Tell The Truth," we all lose.


Sipa USA/Newscom; Douliery Olivier/Sipa USA USA/Newscom

Americans' trust in government institutions is at an all-time low, with fewer than 20 percent of Americans believing they can trust the government to do the right thing "most of the time," according to the Pew Research Center.

This weekend provided the perfect example of why trust has eroded away—down from a high of 73 percent about 60 years ago, Pew says—and why it's so difficult to rebuild.

It started Saturday morning, around 6 a.m., when President Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets making wild accusations about being the target of wiretapping by the Obama administration.

Trump appears to have been referencing a report published Friday by Breitbart News, repeating claims made Thursday night by conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin. Levin postulated that then-President Barack Obama had ordered surveillance of Trump's campaign in June and again in October, seemingly drawing from earlier reporting by Heat Street and The Guardian showing that the FBI received a warrant from the secret FISA court to investigate a server housed in Trump Tower and suspected of being connected to Russian banks (read Julian Sanchez' detailed analysis if you want all the gory details of what we know about the FISA court warrant and what it could mean).

Whether Trump is right or wrong, it's a serious allegation that deserves to be treated as such. If he's wrong—and so far he's offered no evidence to back-up his claim—then all he's done is turn legitimate concerns about the limits of mass surveillance into a partisan political issue in a weird attempt to smear the last administration for engaging in what may turn out to be an entirely legitimate investigation into Trump's business ties with Russian banks. If he's right, we have a full blown political scandal on our hands.

Part of what makes this whole episode so ugly—and so telling—is that it's hard to trust anyone in a position of authority to tell us the whole truth. One of the people who should be in a position to set the record straight is James Clapper, who served as Director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration. Clapper made an effort to do exactly that on Sunday, appearing on NBC's Meet The Press to say that "there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign."

He should be the authority on the subject. We should trust him when he says something definitive about the targets of America's surveillance state.

There's just one problem: James Clapper is a known liar.

It's been nearly four years since Clapper sat before Congress and fielded a question from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) about whether the National Security Agency was collecting "any type of data at all" on American citizens.

"No, sir," he replied. Wyden repeated the question. "Not wittingly," said Clapper.

That was all a lie, and we know it was a lie thanks to Edward Snowden, who exposed the depth of the NSA's domestic surveillance programs just a few months after Clapper's March 2013 congressional testimony.

In 2017, Americans find themselves trapped between James Clapper and Donald Trump.

On one hand, there are government officials who are incompetent or clueless and tell lies in an effort to hide their incompetence and cluelessness. Trump is pushing the boundaries of this category with the sheer brashness of his tall tales, but he's not really all that different from the bumbling officials who mishandled the waitlists at the Department of Veteran's Affairs or anyone who argues that the current state of America's entitlements are sustainable in the long-term. These people tell lies, or at least stretch the truth, because they don't know what they are doing—they are trying to hide a problem until someone else can come along to deal with it, or, as often seems to be the case with Trump, they are trying distract the media's attention from one mess by creating another.

On the other hand, there the James Clappers of the world, who know exactly what they are doing. Their lies deliberately mislead the public because they believe something else—national security, as Clapper claimed after being caught in his lie to Congress—is more important than truth. These are the "if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period" lies. They are the lies about not having any classified information on your private email server, when in fact you do.

This is not meant to suggest a hierarchy of any kind. There aren't less bad forms of lies. Both kinds lead to general mistrust towards the people (and institutions) who tell them, and sometimes lead to worse than that (see Iraq, invasion of).

Pew Research Center

It's not a surprise, then, to learn that Americans are less likely to trust the government than they used to be. Annual surveys by Gallup show that trust in government has declined by more than 20 percentage points—from 63 percent to 42 percent—since 2004. "Americans' trust in political leaders and in the American people as a whole began declining during George W. Bush's second term, the same time their confidence in nonpolitical institutions started heading downward," Gallup noted in September. "These trends have yet to recover."

Over the longer term, the trend as been pointed steadily downwards since the early 1960s, despite a brief rebound in the 1990s, as Pew notes.

Nothing that happened this weekend—indeed, little that has happened since the election—makes you believe that a recovery in trust is coming.

The two types of lies I've identified here have a symbiotic relationship in eroding trust in government. Clapper-style misinformation sticks in the mind more clearly than Trump-style bullshit, because it's a more clear violation of the trust bestowed on government officials. In turn, the Clapper-esque lies create space for the Trump-esque lies to grow, because they weaken the institutional trust that should contain such nonsense by showing it to be false.

Think about it like this: Trump has offered no evidence that his explosive claims are true, and he's notorious for lying, exaggerating, and generally bullshitting about practically everything. Absent any serious evidence, there's no reason to take his claim seriously.

And yet.

And yet, we can't feel completely confident that Clapper is telling the truth. His personal lies have tarnished our confidence in him, just as the volume of lies from all corners of government make it difficult to have faith in the institutions of government as a whole. That's exactly how Americans are responding, if the polls are to be believed: by adopting a stance of broad skepticism towards everything they hear from government, whether in congressional testimony or in presidential tweets.

I'm not sure how, or if, that trend can be reversed, but I suspect that Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) at least identified the path forward for anyone who wants to attempt it. In a statement released Saturday about Trump's wiretap allegations, Sasse called for a vigorous and public review of how the secret FISA Court operates. "We are in the midst of a civilization-warping crisis of public trust," Sasse said. "A quest for the full truth, rather than knee-jerk partisanship, must be our guide if we are going to rebuild civic trust and health."

Unfortunately, we're surrounded by known liars. The only thing we can know for sure, right now, is that either Trump or Clapper is lying again—and that's enough to continue the erosion of trust, no matter who is telling the truth.

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  1. Thank goodness we have a trustworthy media to set it all right. Right?

    1. They have. Other than Drumpf no one else in any governmental capacity is claiming that Obama ordered a wire-rap of Drumpf Tower.

      1. Other than Drumpf no one else in any governmental capacity is claiming that Obama ordered a wire-rap of Drumpf Tower.

        Well I suppose that settles it, then.

        1. He spelled it Drumpf so you know he’s super cereal about it.

          1. Sparky, you have great minds with which to discuss Herr Drumpf.

            1. The best. Yuge you might say. Big league minds.

              1. bigly cynical minds who can see through the Republicans posing as libertarians.

          2. nah, just have a macro wired into F12. Not using the airplane mode for anything.

        2. I suppose. But then if it was NOT settled you’d know about it. You know as much about it as the average American knows who Clapper is.

          Yet, here you are, pretending that drumpf and CLAPPER are the prime examples of why ‘muricans are distrustful of gubmint.

    2. Oh, “Bacon-……,” you mean like lying psycho Mark Levin and the other conspiracy nuts at Breitbart? Aren’t they the media, too, idiot? You believe your “facts,” I believe mine.

      1. In fairness the NY Times has been lying longer and does it better. Nobody other than rabid partisans believe anything Mark Levin says but some people actually think the NY Times peddles news.

        1. “Rudehost,” your deflection of saying that the NYT also lies, in effect tacitly defending the psychotic Levin, isn’t clever at all. This is what the contard hacks and toadies at Faux/Fake News do all day, every day, and from this, I can say with almost a certainty of 100% that this is merely a way of you trying to obscure the fact that you yourself, like most who comment on here, are one of those rabid, right-wing partisans you mention. Come out of the closet and admit the truth.

          1. “Nobody other than rabid partisans believe anything Mark Levin says”

            Yes very defensive that comment.

    3. Time to ratchet up the War on Drugs!

  2. OT: Some dead guy just floated past my building. Has anybody seen Episiarch lately?

    1. You are a dock worker? Did not know.

    2. He has been gone long enough to float from Seattle to Norfolk.

      1. The eyeballs and the penis are the first things to be eaten, usually within the first 50 miles. Did the body still have eyeballs?

        1. Not sure, but given Epi’s known proclivities, any sea creature that tried to eat his penis would have died of explosive gonorrhea after the first bite.

          1. Episiarch protected us John, I miss him so much.

  3. RE: Americans are Caught Between Trump’s Lies and Clapper’s Lies. That’s Why Trust in Institutions Keeps Declining
    In Donald Trump’s and James Clapper’s version of “To Tell The Truth,” we all lose.

    Umm…I hate to be the one to tell everyone this, but we all lost a long time ago.

    1. Whoa. Your extraneous headline-and-subhed recap was like twice as long as your actual comment.

      1. Does this mean I will not get a Christmas card from you this year?

        1. I’m just confused, is all.

    2. Standard issue for rightwing Republicans pretending to be libertarians.

      ‘splained in simple terms

      Drumpf is the POTUS. Well-known by just about EVERY American. And he has lied, lied, lied, lied. So much lying that it is a HUGE accomplishment when he reads off a teleprompter and is calm while lying.

      Clapper? Most Americans have NO idea who he is, much less what he lied about, or how bad was it.

      But and its rightwing Republicans pretending to be libertarians pretend as if the two are on par and equally to blame for Americans losing trust in “the system”


    3. Not me. I never had it. I mean trust in government, not explosive gonorrhea.

      1. So are you saying that you did have explosive gonorrhea?

  4. Gold Star father Khizr Khan has canceled an upcoming speech in Toronto after being told that his “travel privileges are being reviewed,” CTV’s Rosa Hwang reports. Khan and his wife were born in Pakistan, but Khizr has been an American citizen for more than 30 years. The Khans famously accused President Trump of having “sacrificed nothing and no one” during a speech at the Democratic National Convention last year; their son died in the Iraq War in 2004.

    The released statement said Khan was notified Sunday about the challenge to his ability to travel to Canada, where he had planned to deliver a speech “about tolerance, understanding, unity, and the rule of law” on March 7.…..g-reviewed

    1. So now if you check your privilege, you better get a receipt?

      1. Tip the checkroom girl well and you will be fine.

    2. Khan is apparently a liar. If he is a US citizen, there is no “privilege” to be reviewed. Unless, of course, the dumass let his passport expire.

      1. He is descended from the author of the Three Musketeers?

      2. MikeP2|3.6.17 @ 3:33PM|#
        “Khan is apparently a liar.”

        Post is from trud, who IS a liar, so salt is indicated.

      3. Apparently, “MikeP2,” you’re a liar, or a dolt, or both. I think it’s both.

      4. Probably referring to his wife.

  5. Why is everyone here not, as libertarians, thrilled with this farce? What has faith in government gotten anyone lately? If they can’t be held accountable for the lies, can’t exposing them or marginalizing their claims be a happy substitute?

    1. My joy at the continued exposure of politics as being pure entertainment is tempered by the knowledge that the vast majority of my fellow voters still take it seriously.

      1. +1 Blazing Saddle

    2. Because as confidence in government declines those same people keep electing leaders who grow the government even more.

      1. Because as confidence in government declines those same people keep electing leaders who grow the government even more.

        Exactly. The solution to bad government, is more government. It would be laughable if it weren’t true. It fails because it lacks funding, it lacks oversight, it lacks power. They run screaming from the horrors of the big state into the arms of… the bigger state.

        1. We’re winning/losing the War on Drugs. All we need is more funding.

    3. What has faith in government gotten anyone lately?

      National identity?

      1. I am sure a membership card is in the works.

        1. I only have a Ralph’s value club card.

    4. Because we know the Progressives don’t really mean it. They still love government; they just hate Republicans being in charge.

      1. Just as, “SimonD,” “contards” like yourself, are lying, hypocritical phonies who love “guv’ment” when it benefits conservative Republicans, and hate Democrats. See, now we’re even.

        1. Please keep in mind that term “contards” is reserved for referring to fans of Conor McGregor. Thank you.

          1. Hey, “Chipper……,” one of your favorite words is “libtard.” Thank you.

  6. The only thing we can know for sure, right now, is that either Trump or Clapper is lying again?and that’s enough to continue the erosion of trust

    As a libertarian, i have a hard time seeing eroding faith in institutions as a bad thing, in and of itself.

    1. Thank you for reading my mind. That’s how it’s done, Johnny boy.

      1. If anything, ~20% of people still having faith in government is disturbingly high.

    2. That’s one of those trick statements like “I’m a liar”, right?

  7. so far he’s offered no evidence to back-up his claim

    Whoa whoa whoa there Mr. Logic. Are you implying that the burden of proof is on the accuser?

    1. Yeah, because the Russians hacked the election and collaborated with the Trump campaign. Or is proof selective to your bias, now?

    2. Just seize his property already.

  8. Only one has repeatedly lied under oath

  9. “…either Trump or Clapper is lying again”
    I have to go with the assumption that both are lying.

  10. “We are in the midst of a civilization-warping crisis of public trust,” Sasse said.

    Funny how the people complaining the most are the ones who have the most to lose.

    1. Man Who Lives Off Government Worries About Public Distrust of Government

      Film at 11.

  11. “The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie.”

    It seems that Assange may have been right. The federal bureaucracy seems to be feeding on itself now.

    1. ancient proverb I just made up “things that feed off themselves soon consume themselves” may we hope they are consumed sooner rather than latter.

      1. Change your name to Hammurabi.

  12. It’s not a surprise, then, to learn that Americans are less likely to trust the government than they used to be.

    You say that like it is a bad thing.

    1. Yeah… where am I again?!

  13. I love that peak around the 9/11 GWOT time frame. Right after one of the biggest intelligence and national security disasters and a barrage of lies to start a war, trust in the government was at its peak. LOL

    1. Note the huge drop off after 11/23/1963. It continues through Vietnam, Watergate, Church and HSCA. Then Reagan/Bush shut down exposure of IC fuckups and, in the absence of light, confidence grows.

      1. Watergate, Abscam and Iran/Contra only bolstered my trust.

  14. the Obama camp has, unsurprisingly, issued a statement denying they did anything of the sort:

    Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.

    From the Julian Sanchez piece. So Obama never ordered surveillance on Anwar Al-Awlaki before Obama ordered Al-Awlaki assassinated? If true, it seems rather inept, if false that makes this claim by his team false.

    1. Well, you know, he didn’t personally order it. He had people for that.

  15. To be fair to Trump, weren’t we all under surveillance by the Obama administration?

    1. To be fair to words, Drumpf was claiming that Obama personally authorized his “wires tapped”

      1. I don’t know who Drumpf is. But whoever he is, the President doesn’t authorize wiretaps as a general rule. The FISA court does that. So, yes I doubt he ordered any wiretaps on this person.

        1. Insinuations, take care of the prisoner, etc…

  16. Everything Trump is saying is a matter of public record.

    American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

    The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.……html?_r=1

    Was the Times lying there? The FBI and Intel community were used to go after an American Presidential candidate. It is really that simple.

    1. And didn’t he already lose a cabinet member as a result of leaked wiretaps?

  17. No, Americans are being continually misled rightwing news sources such as that equate two sets of statements on a current issue equally and rate them as equal lies. That Clapper lied in the past is of concern, only if you ignore the numerous more times Drumpf lied.

    Whether Drumpf is right or wrong, it’s a serious allegation that deserves to be treated as such.
    Yes, just as his birtherism allegation deserved to be treated as such?

    When he has NOTHING to back it up, and has been so signaled by the FBI itself, then fucking treat it as such.

    1. It is public knowledge. Is the NYT part of the vast rightwing conspiracy now?

      And there is no Drumpf involved in this story. So, if you want people to take you seriously, you might want to stop imagining things.

      1. Or abandom common sense.

    2. Dude, Clapper lied repeatedly about one of the biggest national security scandals in history. This was a story that was breaking news for months and turned into at least three movies. It’s more than a little disingenuous for you to claim that the Clapper stuff wasn’t absolutely enormous.

  18. Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.

    Saying the President didn’t order it is not the same as saying it didn’t happen. The fact that Obama didn’t say “it didn’t happen” in so many words and instead said “he didn’t order it”, is pretty conclusive evidence it did happen. Otherwise, why wouldn’t Obama say so?

    1. Maybe he’s just being cautious. But it does have the ring of a non-denial denial.

      1. Then he should have said, “to my knowledge no such thing was done”. He didn’t say that because it was done.

        1. Actually that is the very next thing he said
          But don’t let facts get in the way of your fantasies.

    2. Slow that roll, I don’t think Obama gave a statement.

      1. His people did.

        1. I know that’s why I pointed it out. You’re trying to make hay out of wet grass. I parse words too and I noticed how the language from his people didn’t straight deny it but it’s too early go where you’re going.

          1. If Obama wanted them to deny it, they would have. Suppose this accusation was something like “Obama made a secret deal with the Muslim Brotherhood”. I bet you anything, Obama himself would come out and say “that never happened.” They only use weasel words like this when it did happen and they don’t want to admit it.

            1. Speaking of statements. Is Trump saying he was wiretapped or is he saying someone living in his building was wiretapped? What’s the accusation exactly?

              1. It was that he was wiretapped. And we know from the Times report in January that he likely was.

                1. We also know that the Obama Admin, surveilled the press as well. Both the AP and Fox news had phones and emails snooped upon.

    3. Reread Trumps tweets, he never said that Obama ‘ordered’ the wire tapping.

  19. Absent any serious evidence, there’s no reason to take his claim seriously.

    I’d like to see the evidence, but I won’t go quite so far as to say there’s no reason. To say that I’d have to trust that Obama would never do a thing like that, and I sure as hell can’t do that. Past experience with politicians suggests that the odds are they’re guilty of at least everything they’re accused of, plus other stuff that doesn’t come to light.

    1. The existence of the counterintelligence investigation was leaked to the Times in January as part of the “Trump is in league with Russia” narrative. From the January 19th Times piece, I link to above.

      Representatives of the agencies involved declined to comment. Of the half-dozen current and former officials who confirmed the existence of the investigations, some said they were providing information because they feared the new administration would obstruct their efforts. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the cases.

      The Obama administration ran a counter-intel operation on Trump hoping to dig up dirt that could then be leaked to the media to harm his campaign. Now that Trump called them out for using the intel and federal law enforcement communities against American citizens and political opponents, the response has become “Obama would never do that”. Oh really, you were claiming he did less than two months ago.

      1. Over at Bloomberg View Noah Feldman is writing that this is possibly an impeachable offense if Trump is lying about Obama’s involvement. The simple question of “what would be a lie” seems to be something he’s having a hard time articulating. We know that Trump’s campaign and Trump surrogates were spied on; whether as the actual target or as someone a target spoke to. Is it really likely that the agencies doing the spying were really constrained from expanding it to Trump himself. Basically, he’s using a stand that unless Obama, personally, was in the unmarked van listening to Trump’s phone calls he had nothing to do with the spying.

        1. How would lying be an impeachable offense? Hardly seems to fall under the high crimes and misdemeanors standard.

      2. The Obama administration ran a counter-intel operation on Trump hoping to dig up dirt that could then be leaked to the media to harm his campaign.

        Hillary tweeted in October about links to russian banks and Trumps server, which was one of the specific allegations in the 2nd FISA surveillance request.

        So yes, someone in Obama’s administration did leak classified information to harm Trump’s campaign.

    2. +/- 1 G. Gorden Liddy, Mohammed Riza Shah, Ferdinand Marcos, and Ngo Dinh Diem.

  20. There’s just one problem: James Clapper is a known liar.

    I don’t know man. Haven’t we all lied? If you deny this then you’re lying now. I think Clapper lied because he was trying to obey a rule about not disclosing secret intelligence information. That’s a pretty decent explanation for the lie. I’ve lied for less and I’m sure you have too.

    1. Poe’s Law?

    2. I think Clapper lied because he was trying to obey a rule about not disclosing secret intelligence information.

      Ima go with “because he knew what his agency was doing was illegal and that he’d better not admit to it during a Congressional investigation.”

      But hey – you say tom-ay-to, I say tom-ah-to.

      1. True that. I like the way you put it.

        1. I can say with full confidence that I have never lied under oath during a Senate inquiry.

      2. “disclosing secret intelligence information”

        “Senator, I cannot answer this question in a public forum as it involves classified information, but I will happily answer it in a classified setting.”

        It’s not like he was ambushed by some “gotcha” question. He knew the subject of the hearing, he probably received a read-ahead detailing what they were looking in to. He could have given them a wholly truthful answer and he chose not to.

        1. Memory Hole is a lefty apologist.

          1. Nah, I’m just open minded.

    3. It’s a pretty good explanation. But it’s hard to make the case that what’s being discussed now doesn’t also have some pretty big national security implications. And we don’t know what, in his heart of hearts, Clapper believes rightly or wrongly to threaten the national interest. Given that, if he’d lie to Congress for the good of the country – in his view – surely he’d lie to a Sunday talking head for the same reason.

  21. If Trump is at all serious about draining the swamp, unleashing a wave of special prosecutors with wide authority would be a good start. Let’s gather some facts so we can decide how we want to move forward. I don’t think he has the balls.

    1. The problem is who can you trust to do that? How about Rudy? Man he would drive those people nuts.

      1. Preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

      2. Trust Rudy Guiliani? Are you high?

    2. Small fingers

  22. I’m a bit puzzled as to what’s so outrageous about Trump saying the Obama administration spied on him. The government spies on _everybody _, as the author himself acknowledged.

  23. If nothing else, this is another example of Trump owning the media. By making this accusation, the media in 24 hours went from claiming the Russians stole the election and Jeff Sessions should resign for lying about it to claiming that it is absolutely impossible that Obama or the FBI would have ever investigated Trump’s ties to Russia.

    Think about it, how is that Sessions perjury “Scandal” going? Does anyone even remember that?

    1. But you fucked up and mentioned the perjury. You ruined Trump’s master plan. Well-oiled machine!

    2. You Libertarians are not good people. Smoke less or no marijuana.

  24. I have no idea if Obo had Trump’s phones tapped, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were with Obo’s carefully ‘deniable’ approval.
    But FFS, he trots out Clapper as a supposedly trustworthy authority?
    ‘Hey, isn’t Nixon’s word good enough?’

    1. If you can’t trust a guy who lied under oath to Congress, who can you trust?

      1. To be pedantic it is actually,

        If you can’t trust a guy who lied under oath about the government spying on American citizens when he tells you the government didn’t spy on an American citizen, who can you trust?

        Fixed it for you.

  25. It also should be pointed out that Clapper never said the FBI didn’t wiretap Trump. He said, “I can deny it”. That is not the same as saying it didn’t happen. All of these people are acting very guilty.

    1. Hillsry even tweeted about the investigation into TrumpPutingate on yhe 29th of Jan.

    2. This is what’s so amusing about this kerfuffle. Just last week there were dozens of articles, all essentially parroting the same information, that were crowing about how the Obama administration modified the classification levels on intel reports about Trump and Russia so they could be widely disseminated and prevent Trump’s people from making them disappear. All of a sudden, Trump accuses Obama of tapping his phone and now we get a bunch of articles acting as if what they were reporting on as recently as last week never even happened.

      1. The intercepted communications between Trump campaign and Russians were caught because the USA was monitoring the Russians’ phones, not because they were monitoring Trump campaign. Hence it can be true that intelligence exists on their communications without there being a wiretap at Trump Tower.

  26. maybe its a good thing that we no longer trust our government, not that people will act on that mis trust.

  27. A couple of problems with the article. (1) That ‘trust in government’ chart has to do with whether or not government is working for the people…It has nothing really to do with honesty of any one particular branch. In fact, it mirrors the public’s rating of Congress more than anything else:…..1gjqja.gif … I believe that on the whole, most Americans approve of our intelligence agencies..Much more than we approve of Congress, which seems dedicated to preserving their own jobs and selling out the American citizen to lard up their war chest for the next election. And (2) Clapper isn’t at issue here. According to the article written by the ex-British member of Parliament, now residing in NY, the FBI did actually file for a tap of Trump’s Hotel and it was granted, as they believed that some of Trump’s campaign staff had too cozy a relationship with Russia. (Remember, Comey already had a copy of that Moscow Dossier). It’s interesting that Comey would try to block an investigation into his wiretap…But, let’s face it. Would the FBI want their investigations opened up to public scrutiny under any circumstances? Nope! It’s stupid to expect it to, and it may force them to expose their hand.

  28. Is it possible Clapper is playing with words? Is it called a wiretap if they attack a computer server instead of a phone? Was he asked the correct question?

  29. Shut the fuck up Donald, you’re out of your element.

  30. Big Fat Liar

    Among the other fallacious claims that Trump made during the campaign which he never offered any substantiation for:
    The IRS might be auditing his tax returns “because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian.”

    He suggested that Ted Cruz’s father was somehow involved with Lee Harvey Oswald.

    He said there’s something “very fishy” about Vince Foster’s death.

    He trafficked in rumors that Antonin Scalia may have been a victim of foul play. “They say they found a pillow on his face,” Trump said in one radio interview, “which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow.”

    He said vaccines may cause childhood autism.

    He maintained that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the Sept. 11 attacks.

    He insisted that a man who charged the security barricades at one of his rallies in Ohio was a member of the Islamic State. He based this false statement on a hoax Internet video he and his staff saw online.

    B-b-b-b-but Benghazi!

    1. Well, he was a Democrat at one time, so he obviously learned from the best.

  31. Government has to lie. If they honestly stated what their actions and intentions are, we would shrink their spending by at least 85%, and remove them completely from our marketplaces.

  32. If only 20% trust govt. why are more than 20% voting? Why would you support an institution you don’t trust? I don’t donate to The Red Cross because I have no confidence in their fiscal efficiency. I only trust local charities or persons I know are trustworthy. To denounce someone or declare a political system unreliable and then keep it going with any kind of support is irrational. And justification of such action with: “Better the devil I know…” is an unsupportable lie.

    If people really don’t trust govt. (not any particular govt., but the concept of being governed by force, which is the paradigm that is assumed to be part of govt.) then their actions contradict their claims. I believe actions.

    I am consistent. I reject the concept of being ruled (governed), therefore I don’t vote or willingly support govt. And I support a voluntary social system as the new paradigm of self-governance.

  33. Huh, turns out the libertarian moment requires a lot of faith in government.

    Who woulda thunk it.

  34. Huh, turns out the libertarian moment requires a lot of faith in government.

    Who woulda thunk it.

    1. Not me.

  35. After reading the non-sense comments left by dummies who are not following the President elect and rejecting the peoples choice-is against our democratic process are idiots, this thinking says a lot about a persons character-it says that these people who think like this are weak, dumb, ball-less, Anti-American and because their are so many of these assholes thinking like this in our country is why we have a shadow government within our government; watch what a person is cynical about and he will reveal to you what he lacks, and democrats are cynical idiots: So check it for you all you stupid idiots out there.

    Obama did wire tap Trump, Obama did funnel billions of dollars to leftist groups illegally, Obama is not American, Obama is an impostor and you have to be brain dead to believe other wise. Obama and the democratic Party, some Republicans, and the Mainstream News Media are enemies of the people of the United States.


  36. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law wiz like actually making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twenty months and at present cleared the dept on there apartment and bout a great new Citroen CV . look here……

  37. George Washington: “I cannot tell a lie?I did cut it with my hatchet.” It was pure fiction, created and perpetrated by the media. At least with Trump, I can read his tweet directly, and from experience I have learned that his tweets often contain a kernel of truth, generally more truth than I can get from the media, and Reason is not excluded.

    If a FISA request exists, and it appears that it does, it is evidence that there is some truth in what Trump is saying, and evidence that Clapper is full of it. It is fairly clear that the government created a pretext in order to fashion a FISA request and had to go back and revise it after being turned down once. The mere fact that they attempted to do this stinks to high heaven, seems much like Nixon coverups, and adds credence to Trump’s statement, even if not exactly what he claims to be true. After all, if the NYT substantiated it (and they did), it must be true, right? Somewhere between Trump’s misstatements of fact, and the media’s fiction, we have some truth. And do we really believe the government gets permission first before using surveillance, or does it after the fact in order to cover their asses?

    If government trust is down to 20% (mine has never been that high) then media trust must be somewhere around 2%.

    1. What is FISA’s approval rate? 99.9%? If there actually is a FISA request as you say, we can be all but certain it was approved.

  38. “Them whores are gonna tell different lies than you. And when their lies ain’t the same as your lies, well . . . . I ain’t gonna hurt no woman.” Little Bill Daggett

    So who’s the whore?

  39. You call Trump a liar, yet only offer as proof the fact that “so far he’s offered no evidence to back-up his claim”.

    You either don’t understand English that well, and since you write for Reason I doubt that’s the case, or you are spreading fake news – lying – by equating lack of evidence “so far” with actual lies in this specific case.

    You seem have it in for Trump and, like the rest of the hard left, are willing to lie about him to smear his name. How on earth did you get a job at Reason? Yet again I’m disappointed to see the depths that Reason and one of its reporters – yes, you Boehm – have sunk. This is not the responsible journalism and scrupulous adherence to the truth that Reason has enjoyed for many years…

  40. Clapper EXPLICITLY lied to Congress. Trump has not. Trump has his own issues, to be sure, but his exaggerations are of utterly irrelevant things.

    Wikileaks is also making the narrative about Russia involving itself in the election seem REALLY spurious.

  41. So the author had to go back almost 4 years to catch James lying. I wander how far the author would have to go back to catch Donald lying?

  42. Well someone is tapping phones and they have transcripts and leaked the calls of the current Potus and his staff’s communications. Who is responsible for that? Our government agencies are betraying the Executive about idiotic non scandals. Half of the geezers in congress couldn’t remember they met with the Russian Ambassador.

  43. I can see what your saying… Raymond `s article is surprising, last week I bought a top of the range Acura from making $4608 this-past/month and-a little over, $10,000 this past month . with-out any question its the easiest work I’ve ever had . I began this five months/ago and almost straight away started bringing in minimum $82 per-hr .

  44. just as Phillip implied I am alarmed that someone can get paid $6887 in one month on the computer . published here………….

  45. as Joel said I’m alarmed that some people can get paid $8414 in a few weeks on the internet . visit this site right here…………. {{{{{ }}}}}

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