Fox News' Bill O'Reilly spoke to Bret Baier about how it was exactly that President Donald Trump came to suggest that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower from his reporting. After citing what the House and Senate intelligence committees have said about the accusation, O'Reilly concluded that the matter is settled.
"To me, all that matters in this insanity," O'Reilly tells Baier, "and that is all that it is, insanity, that the president started when he tweeted out that he believed that President Obama tapped him in the Trump Tower. All that matters is, whether a FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant was requested by the Obama administration. Is it possible to say 'yes' or 'no' to that question?"
"To your answer," Baier responded, "both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, chairman and ranking members have said they have seen no evidence of a FISA request, for surveillance of Trump Tower. Now let me just explain that whole thing, and the question, while I have the time here."
What happened was there was a pretaped interview with Speaker Ryan, I was going through a series of things that I wanted to ask him. I came across a Real Clear Politics write-up of public reporting that had been compiled the night before by Mark Levin, and it was listing all the things that had been publicly reported by different news organizations.
He compiled it in a talk show and he's talked about that. Real Clear Politics just summarized it. So, I asked Ryan about these reports, saying, had he heard anything about it. To be honest with you Bill, I expected the speaker to say "no," and we would probably cut that part out of it. But because of his answer and how he cryptically answered it, I asked again, and you heard me, and I asked again, and it seemed like he was somehow tangentially confirming it.
"We went back to Paul Ryan," Baier continued, "and he said, 'No, that's not true, I haven't seen any evidence of surveillance.' "
"What he misunderstood," O'Reilly interjected, "and I think it was an honest mistake, is that you were asking him if he saw any evidence that the Russians were involved with the Trump campaign. I don't know why he would have thought that was your question."
Baier agreed with O'Reilly's suspicion.
"But I want to be very clear on this," O'Reilly said. "The whole thing is now settled that there was no FISA warrant requested by the Obama administration. As we sit here, it's settled because the House and the Senate intel people say they can't find it."
"They haven't seen it," Baier agreed, but added as a warning, "Now I should caveat, that they have not heard officially from the Justice Department, the FBI, and they're expecting to, tomorrow."
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After some more speculation about the wiretapping being on Russian officials and accidentally capturing Trump aides, Baier concluded, "the tweet that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, there is no evidence to suggest, so far."
"So far, because the president has the power to get any FISA warrants and look at them," O'Reilly said, chuckling, "So if he comes up with anything."
Trump and his allies have tried to keep his accusation alive since he made it and demanded that Congress investigate, but so far, little evidence has come out apart from that which Baier mentioned in the interview.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is one of the few who doggedly sought for the truth to come out, saying that it could be the "biggest scandal since Watergate" for either Obama or Trump, depending on where the evidence falls.