Popular conservative and constitutional talker Mark Levin is ripping CNN and the mainstream media for slamming his comments based on their reporting of possible wiretapping of Team Trump by the Obama administration.
In an open letter to CNN's Brian Stelter published on his Conservative Review website, and directed at the larger media too, Levin wrote:
I simply put together the stories that YOUR profession reported, on the public record. Do you deny there were two FISA applications? Do you deny the first was turned down? Do you deny the second was approved? It's called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. It is about surveillance. The fact that we cannot discern all the details because of the secrecy, except for what the media have revealed and selective leaks by the government, should cause you to want to know more, not to trash those who point it out.
Levin emailed me, "Do you deny there were two FISA applications?" I replied: "I don't know. You don't know. The reporting is very murky." https://t.co/uSyUgooRl0— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 6, 2017
Your lack of curiosity and dishonesty about such matters and in dealing with me demean you and your profession.
Reporters trying to determine the reason President Trump on Saturday sent out a storm of tweets accusing Obama of bugging Trump tower have looked to comments Levin made, which he said are legitimate questions raised by the media.
Levin said that there are some "logical implications" that can be made from the reporting on the issue, which includes pre-election reports in papers like the New York Times.
And yes, we can make several logical implications based on events and experience. A FISA application is a big deal. One, or two in this case, that involve campaign surrogates, or a server or computer related to a candidate or campaign, etc., is a big deal. President Obama's statement is not a definitive statement of anything, other than he, personally, did not order a wiretap, which I never claimed. But that does not mean he was unaware of surveillance activity by several of his departments, even through routine reports to the president, such as the Daily Intel Briefing or information conveyed to him or his staff via the Justice Department re the FBI counter-intelligence activities. As for Clapper, despite his past dissembling before Congress, he may not have been aware of what was taking place since the FBI counter-intel operation reportedly sought the warrant. The Daily Intel Briefing might provide useful information in that regard as well.
On Monday, Stelter dismissed the affair as a conspiracy. His story opened this way:
An incendiary idea first put forward by right-wing radio host Mark Levin is now burning across Washington, fanned by President Trump's tweets and a huge number of supportive commentators and websites — even though the facts don't back up the conclusion.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org