A spokesman of former President Barack Obama said Saturday that the Obama administration never “ordered surveillance” on any United States citizen during Obama’s eight years in office — despite facts that say otherwise.
“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement.
“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen,” he added. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
— Kevin Lewis (@KLewis44) March 4, 2017
The statement came after President Donald Trump accused Obama on Saturday of wiretapping Trump Tower during the final weeks of last year’s presidential campaign.
Lewis’ comments, however, struck a cord on Twitter — and many were quick to fact check his claim that the Obama administration never targeted a U.S. citizen with surveillance.
In fact, it’s widely known that Obama’s Justice Department targeted journalists with wiretaps in 2013, most famous Fox News’ James Rosen and his family. The wiretaps were part of an investigation into government officials anonymously leaking information to journalists. The Associated Press was also a target of the surveillance.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Except James Rosen, his parents the AP. https://t.co/ibGd7K0Ma4
— Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) March 4, 2017
Let's not forget in 2013 Obama had Fox News reporter James Rosen's phone tapped, calling him a "co-conspirator" under the Espionage Act. https://t.co/AWyoPrq5G7
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) March 4, 2017
— Ruby Jean (@jewel531) March 4, 2017
Remember folks, Obama had phone tap on Fox News reporter, James Rosen. Even spied on his parents.
— Jane Spillane (@jane_spillane) March 4, 2017
You wiretapped 20 AP phones, seized the phone records of James Rosen's parents & said he was a criminal conspirator. https://t.co/PBybRSyUmz
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) March 4, 2017
— BudaVision (@BudaVision32) March 4, 2017
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) March 4, 2017
— Robert Fuer (@RobFuer) March 4, 2017