Trump claims that the Obama administration bugged Trump Tower before the election.
Perhaps … but former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that Trump is probably right that Trump Tower was bugged (by the Justice Department, not Obama personally).
And chief Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen – who Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder ordered be bugged … like many other reporters for well over a decade – said he thought Trump might be right:
Washington's Blog asked the highest-level NSA whistleblower in history – Bill Binney – whether he thought Trump had been bugged.
Binney is the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees.
He was a 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency and the NSA’s best-ever analyst and code-breaker.
Binney also mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened (“in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union’s command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons”).
Binney told Washington's Blog:
NSA has all the data through the Upstream programs (Fairview/Stormbrew/Blarney) [background] and backed up by second and some third party country collection.
Plus the FBI and CIA plus others, as of the last month of the Obama administration, have direct access to all the NSA collection (metadata and content on phones,email and banking/credit cards etc.) with no attempt at oversight by anybody [background]. This is all done under Executive Order 12333 [the order which allows unlimited spying no matter what intelligence officials claim] ….
FBI would only ask for a warrant if they wanted to be able to take it into court at some point given they have something meaningful as evidence. This is clearly true given the fact the President Trump's phone conversations with other country leaders were leaked to the mainstream media.
In other words, Binney is saying that Trumps phones were bugged by the NSA without a warrant – remember, top NSA whistleblowers have previously explained that the NSA is spying on virtually all of the digital communications of Americans. – and the NSA shared the raw data with the CIA, FBI and other agencies.
If the FBI obtained a warrant to tap Trump's phone, it was a "parallel construction" to "launder" improperly-gained evidence through acceptable channels.
As we've previously explained:
The government is “laundering” information gained through mass surveillance through other agencies, with an agreement that the agencies will “recreate” the evidence in a “parallel construction” … so they don’t have to admit that the evidence came from unconstitutional spying. This data laundering is getting worse and worse.
So does it mean that the NSA spying on Trump Tower actually turned up some dirt?
And the former NSA director admitted that the mass surveillance is a power grab.
So we won't know until the intelligence agencies actually show their cards … and reveal what evidence they've gathered.