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US Podcast: From Watergate to Trump-Russia

US Podcast: From Watergate to Trump-Russia
March 06
17:55 2017

Amid the investigation of links between Donald Trump’s associates and Russian officials, I joined BBC West Midlands on Monday morning to talk through another political scandal, the 1970s Watergate affair that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

The discussion moves from history to the current-day, explaining why Donald Trump’s unsupported “wiretap” claims are not the descendant of Watergate — but the Russia ties that could force his own departure might well be.

Listen to discussion

See also US Podcast: Trump’s “Wiretap” Rant — A Beginner’s Guide
TrumpWatch, Day 45: FBI Asks Justice to Dismiss Trump’s “Wiretap” Claim

Let me cut to the chase. There’s no substance to Trump’s claim that Obama illegally ordering wiretaps.

First, Trump had no evidence for this: he simply saw a conspiracy theory that was spread by Breitbart News, which was edited by his White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Here’s the real story: because of the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, the FBI and the National Security Agency went to the top-secret FISA court in summer 2016 and said, “We need warrants to find out if the Russians have been doing this,” including possibly on phones in the US….

What has never been established is whether Trump Tower was part of the warrant for surveillance. But if it is, that warrant was legally obtained, which makes matters even worse for Trump, rather than better.

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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