It all started with President Trump’s tweets wherein he stated he had just learned that the Obama administration had wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower prior to the election.
In reporting on the matter, CNN’s Brian Stelter published an article Monday titled, “Birth of a conspiracy theory: How Trump’s wiretap claim got started.”
Stelter started off with, “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.”
Along with Levin, he slammed Breitbart News, Fox host Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
Levin had enough of it, and fired off a stinging email retort to Stelter, then made it public on his Conservative Review site Monday, with the subject line: “You are so thoroughly dishonest.”
Below is Levin’s complete public letter to Stelter:
Did you listen to my show on Thursday, before President Trump tweeted? Did you watch my appearance on Fox and Friends Sunday morning? I know you are ticked I did not appear on your show, despite your numerous requests. Your ad hominem attacks about “right wing” radio host and conspiracy theory stuff … incredible.
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.
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.
Of course, the release of the FISA applications would also shed a lot of light on events, assuming YOU believe reports that they were filed.
Furthermore, Clapper has said, as recently as yesterday, that no connections between the Russians and the Trump campaign have been found. I am extremely critical of Russia, Putin, and the efforts to influence our election, although I do not believe they succeeded. That said, how would Clapper know of no connections if he, as former Director of National Intelligence, didn’t look? On what is that based?
Your lack of curiosity and dishonesty about such matters and in dealing with me demean you and your profession. You are free to circulate this communication to whomever you wish, as I am making it public.
Below is Levin’s appearance on Fox & Friends Sunday morning that he referenced:
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
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