back to article Well, whad'ya know? 'No evidence' that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower

The US Department of Justice has "no evidence" that Obama's administration wiretapped Trump Tower, contrary to a much-publicised accusation by President Trump to the contrary. The DoJ's statement was in response to a Freedom of Information request by the watchdog group American Oversight. "Both FBI and NSD [the DoJ's National …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They would say that.

    You can't win due to tin foil.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Fake news, innit?

      1. ratfox Silver badge
        Trollface

        Well they would say that.

        Fake news! Deep government! It's all a conspiracy man!

        1. My Alter Ego

          "Fake news! Deep government! It's all a conspiracy man!"

          It goes all the way up the white house...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC Funny... but no.

      Define what you think the DoJ means when they say 'wire tap'.

      Does it mean that they didn't eavesdrop on calls without placing bugs on the phone?

      (Yes you can do this. All digital switches and cross connects can do this.) [I wrote some of the code... ]

      Does it include shining a laser on a window to eavesdrop? (Unless the windows have electric tumbers to vibrate the windows and cause an interference pattern you can do this. YMMV based on windows)

      Does it include the NSA , CIA data capture when said people were talking to foreign nationals?

      And then the Obama administration expanding the rules so that most of his staff can request the unmasking with no need or evidence to support the request?

      It doesn't?

      *SHOCK* wow. So then they can make the claim and still eat their cake too.

      (Think about it.)

      The Obama administration is the most correct in the history of the US.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: @AC Funny... but no.

        "Does it include shining a laser on a window to eavesdrop? (Unless the windows have electric tumbers to vibrate the windows and cause an interference pattern you can do this. YMMV based on windows)"

        This why I use Linux. More secure by design :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @John Brown ... Re: @AC Funny... but no.

          You must live under a rock.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC Funny... but no.

        "The Obama administration is the most correct in the history of the US."

        Bless you young one, you actually believe you live in a democracy and that your presidents are working for you rather than those that lobby congress. It's soo cute, I could give you a cuddle.

      3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: @AC Funny... but no.

        Define what you think the DoJ means when they say 'wire tap'.

        The headline writer gets to use vague language like "wiretap". According to the article body, the request didn't use that word. Or at least not the part that was quoted, which asked about any orders for "an intercept of telecommunications or ...".

        Does it mean that they didn't eavesdrop on calls without placing bugs on the phone?

        That would seem to fall under what they asked for: was there an order for "an intercept of telecommunications". Doesn't matter if they placed a bug in or near the phone or got the phone company to patch in for them.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Bandersnatch ... Re: @AC Funny... but no.

          Wow, you clueless feck.

          Look, you already know that they had unmasked Flynn's conversations with a Russian diplomat. Why? because they leaked the transcript.

          They didn't eavesdrop on Flynn but were eavesdropping on the Russian which is normal operations.

          But here's the thing.

          They unmasked Flynn and others within the Trump team.

          Forget what you think about Trump.

          Look at the actions taken by Obama's Administration.

          They expanded the rule of law as to who would be allowed to request unmasking. Does the US Ambassador need to know who said what? No. Which is why she's been forced to testify as to why she was unmasking US Citizens. Keep in mind the written requests had a vague " I need to know as part of my job" with providing any specifics.

          What we don't know is the specifics. But this is very serious.

          Unmasking is allowed within certain parameters. And each time should be well documented. Yet these apparently went unchecked. What makes the use illegal is that it was apparently done for political reasons to spy on Trump and his team.

          This is where you have a major problem and why Trump is correct to say that the Obama Administration spied on him.

          There is enough evidence in the public eye to confirm that this did occur and that Trump was spied on. The whole. 'no wiretapping' is a smoke screen.

          For those who wonder why the say 'no wiretapping' is because that's how Trump described the spying and its a way to poke fun on him.

          The Congressional hearings may provide split reports. Schiff is playing partisan politics and threatening to release a minority report to counter the official report. There's more, but you have to be objective to understand the threat.

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: @Bandersnatch ... @AC Funny... but no.

            >There is enough evidence in the public eye to confirm that this did occur and that Trump was spied on.

            Only you haven't got any of it. Must be a conspiracy.

            Pathetic.

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

              @Strum Re: @Bandersnatch ... @AC Funny... but no.

              Pathetic?

              Really? So the news reports which have published excerpts from the leaked transcript of Flynn's conversation were faked? really?

              The reported evidence that several members of the Obama Administration made numerous unmasking requests without full documentation didn't occur? Sorry, but there's several members of Congress who saw the requests (which are classified BTW)... they are all lying?

              Here's the thing. Technically the NSA/CIA/etc spied on the Russian diplomat and hence Flynn got caught up in the BS. So they didn't spy on Flynn, just unmasked him which then led to other unmasking requests.

              The conversation between Flynn and the Russian was actually legal. Flynn lied to Trump and Pence so he got canned for lying.

              The leaking of the transcript was illegal and if they catch the bastid, that's jail time.

              What's pathetic is the blind and ignorant hatred of Trump. Which would make you pathetic.

              If you took an objective look at what is happening... mask the players... you'll see that there's a bit of lawlessness going on and it isn't Trump. The biggest problem with Trump is that he doesn't know how to cover himself and to play the game.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Strum @Bandersnatch ... @AC Funny... but no.

                You really are a full on tinfoil hat wearing fruitcake aren't you...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC Funny... but no.

        "(Yes you can do this. All digital switches and cross connects can do this.) [I wrote some of the code... ]

        What digital switches? You wrote code for ALL of them?

        Are you on about a PBX? A Network switch? A carrier switch?

        Do you mean "Digital", as in the 1980's technology or something that uses 1's and 0's?

        Please elaborate. I yes I'm fully aware of how to intercept various phone systems.

        1. Scroticus Canis
          Unhappy

          Re: @Lost all faith - Do you mean "Digital", as in the 1980's technology...?

          Well back in the '80s I can assure you digital was in use. Not only that but we could understand binary, read hex dumps, write assembler and machine code, as well as the odd high-level language. OK that assumes ALGOL, COBOL and FORTRAN pass as high-level languages.

          Fuck, I was writing assembler code for tomographic x-ray scanners in 1980, from hardware diagrams, and doing all the maths in binary as they saved a few cents by not having a maths co-processor on the control CPU. Fortunately the Fourier domain transforms, for imaging, were done on dedicated hardware for reasons of speed.

          Sheesh the yoof of today don't know how easy they have it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC Funny... but no.

          ""(Yes you can do this. All digital switches and cross connects can do this.) [I wrote some of the code... ]

          What digital switches? You wrote code for ALL of them?"

          Different AC here, but I also wrote what is called 'lawful intercept' code for a class 5 telephone switch early in my career. It's actually harder than you might imagine to ensure that there is no possible way for the user to detect the intercept (a requirement under the relevant legislation) particularly when you start to include VoIP provision, which technically doesn't need to route through your hardware at all (well, it does now - otherwise such routing is in an indication of a tap on the line).

          It's quite fun to work out how you are going to deal with all the tells that an intercept leaves. do you minimise them, do you artificially put them on all calls, do you put them on some proportion of calls?

          Then of course you have to establish what to do if the organisation who requested the intercept don't respond to it in real time...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC ... Re: @AC Funny... but no.

            This is the original AC.

            No, the code isn't that hard. Well maybe for most, but for the people on my team, I was considered the junior of the team ( I was the youngest and also a few years out of school )

            Considering other projects I have done... it was about average, but it did take some thought.

            VOIP makes it a bit more complex, especially with encryption. Back then you didn't have to worry about encryption. Government agencies... can manage that without too much trouble these days, although in recent years, it just got harder.

            Fast forward to today... similar techniques could be used on your digital handset. (cell phone) Think about three way calling and how that works. Now think of the third party as 'listen only'. You would never know because there's no loss or signal degradation that you would if you actually put a physical tap on the line.

            (You have to be over 50 to appreciate that reference)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Lost in space ... er faith... Re: @AC Funny... but no.

          If I told you which switch, it would be possible to figure out who I was. On the team, a couple of the blokes have passed. I can tell you I worked on the GM and PM portions of the switch.

          And if you knew anything about the switch, you'd realize just how easy the code could be. And of course this was way back when land lines were all the rage because cell phones were bulky, analog and expensive.

          BTW, if you have to understand what is meant by analog vs digital... you really don't know much about telephony.

      5. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: @AC Funny... but no.

        SIgh. Wire tapping is defined as using any form of electronic device to easy drop.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC Funny... but no.

        Weird.

        That was supposed to say that the Obama Administration is the most corrupt, yet somehow 'edited'...

        (cue the tin foil brigade...)

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      They would say that.

      You can't win due to tin foil.

      Not all "wiretaps" are by a government agency now are they? There could have been one but done by civilian. Yep... I've got my tinfoil firmly in place....and it's the industrial grade, extra large.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bollocks, you beat me to first post with the exact same words :)

  3. Naselus

    Or, as Fox et al will report it, "Yet more evidence that the failed Obama administration couldn't keep the country safe from threats to our democracy."

    1. Prosthetic Conscience
      Trollface

      Oooh I see what you did there, very subtle!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You mean where it's suggested that Obama actually cares about democracy?

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      You aren't joking.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Wait, you mean you actually buy the notion that Obama is a "good guy?" A straight shooter that played by the rules? How touching.

        I wouldn't want to cause you discomfort by attempting to make a case here, so I'll shut up.

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
          Happy

          Big John

          I'll shut up

          Is that a promise?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Big John

            Is that a promise?

            Probably with just about the same value as one from Trump: nil.

          2. Louis Schreurs BEng
            Happy

            Re: Big John

            waiting for promises to delete his The Register account.....................

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Big John

              Hopefully not, I kinda enjoyed calling him BJ :).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Yet more evidence that the failed Obama administration couldn't keep the country safe from threats of democracy."

      FTFY

      Your welcome.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitler lied?

    Say it ain't so!

    Repurposing an old joke: How do you tell when Twitler's lying? His lips are moving. badum tish.

    And Kellyann? Yup, lips moving. And Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Right again, lips moving. I'm sensing a patter.

    Hey everyone, have a good time – because what else would you be doing in the evac shelter after Harvey drove you from your home, which is now six feet under water. Sleeping on mats while contemplating having lost everything. It's just a regular old carnival of fun I'm sure.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Twitler lied?

      Pretty sure their lips move when they're reading, and that they use their finger to keep track of where they are in a sentence.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Twitler lied?

        Well, it's all going to be academic soon, as soon as Trump manages to read the label next to the red button marked "RED BUTTON".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Twitler lied?

          "RED BUTTON"

          Reminds me of the Father Ted episode when they let Fr Dougal onto the flight deck of an airliner, and there's a red button with the label 'DO NOT PRESS'. I wonder if anyone's ever given President Trump the 'These are small.....but those are far away' speech.

          1. macjules Silver badge

            Re: Twitler lied?

            Or more like "You let Dougal do a funeral?"

          2. sabroni Silver badge
          3. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

            Re: Twitler lied?

            Now now, his arms aren't that long

        2. Someone Else Silver badge

          @Dan 55 -- Re: Twitler lied?

          Well, it's all going to be academic soon, as soon as Trump manages to read the label next to the red button marked "RED BUTTON".

          He won't read it...he'll have someone read it to him.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Twitler lied?

          Well, it's all going to be academic soon, as soon as Trump manages to read the label next to the red button marked "RED BUTTON".

          Thankfully someone thought ahead here as it will only cause a can of coke to be delivered to his desk. It's a good thing he doesn't read much (makes me wonder if he's a secret dyslexic), there is no way he can master the nuclear codes on his own. AFAIK there's no cartoon or Youtube version of the instructions yet.

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Twitler lied?

        "Pretty sure their lips move when they're reading, and that they use their finger to keep track of where they are in a sentence."

        I should go all SJW regarding the 'having fun at the expense of people with dyslexia' but I can't stomach the thought of actually going through with it...

        So let's just pretend I did, as a part of "illustrating absurdity by being absurd", while I pray to the porcelain god 'Ralph' and his son 'Barpholomew', and the car he drives, 'Buick'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twitler lied?

      Hey everyone, have a good time – because what else would you be doing in the evac shelter after Harvey drove you from your home, which is now six feet under water.

      My guess it will be listening to the radio of news how the next part of the country will fail to prepare for hurricane Irma which will potentially zap Florida. It's already a cat 4 and slowly moving westwards. Google Earth's weather overlay is a good way to see just how big the damn thing is.

      No, no sign of global warming, none whatsoever. These things get worse all by themselves. At this rate there won't be enough left of the US to worry about as nature itself appears to educate on what fun side effects there are to be expected over the next few years.

  5. Tronald Dump
    Facepalm

    Is anyone the least bit surprised?

    Thought not.

    1. Scroticus Canis
      Happy

      Re: Is anyone the least bit surprised?

      You must have a massive pair of cojones to use that Spoonerism as a handle. Respect hombre!

      Uppies for the comment as well.

  6. phuzz Silver badge

    Cripes! Next you'll be saying that Obama actually was born in Hawaii and isn't a Muslim!

  7. cirby

    So much for that Russian collusion story...

    That "Trump was working with the Russians" idea was primarily based off of those nonexistent wiretaps.

    If there weren't any wiretaps, the whole thing goes down the drain.

    (The "Trump Russian Dossier" story also relied on the fictional wiretaps, so it goes away too.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

      The mere appearance of Manafort anywhere is sufficient to raise that suspicion. There is no need for anything else. His previous job(s) had to put him in contact with relevant people in Russia. If he did not, he was not doing his job and should return the money paid to him for trying to prop the previous version of the so called Желтожупанная Клептократия.

      The fact that the Great Orange One has supplied plenty of "else" is a different story.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

      "That "Trump was working with the Russians" idea was primarily based off of those nonexistent wiretaps."

      Citation needed. I *could* look it up, but I really can't be bothered to find evidence of such a claim. Since, you know, there are other sources.

      Such as : http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/08/10/trump-and-russia-investigation-what-to-know.html. You might want to read that, especially since it's from Fox News. They don't publish fake news, right ? You might note that the collusion claims lack references to wiretaps....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

        Every time someone references a fox news article god kills a kitten.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

          Excellent idea for feral cat eradication, but I don't want to be subjected to that much fox

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

      "If there weren't any wiretaps, the whole thing goes down the drain."

      Ho ho. No.

      Manafort, Flynn, Trump sr, Trump's adult children, Kushner, Sessions, Pence, Guilliani, Bannon, Prince and DeVos, Rohrbacher plus a bunch of 2nd tier people like Stone, Cohen, Page et al all have Russian ties which have been extensively reported and are doubtless under investigation.

      A lot of indictments are going to be handed down before all this is over with.

    4. Teknogrot

      Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

      Bear with me, because I get that this is a crazy thought, but bear with me

      What if... they wiretappd the other end of the lines? LIke, not in Trump Tower, but somewhere close to the Russians they thought were suspiciously Russian looking?

    5. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

      If there weren't any wiretaps, the whole thing goes down the drain.

      All it says is that a tap on the Trump end wasn't legally requested. It doesn't mean that there weren't any on the other ends. I suspect that that's why Trump got his knickers in a twist: he feared that his team was caught on tape because some of his unsavoury contacts were being legitimately "tapped". That's the simplest explanation for why his son (son in law?) approached the Russian government to set up a secret diplomatic channel.

      Yeah, as you say, "so much for that Russian collusion story".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

        Also understanding how wiretapping happens in the good ol' US of A.

        Part of the problem for law enforcement is that wiretaps, particularly to large buildings, is that it is like trying to drink from a fire hose - you get much more than you intend and filtering it out can be difficult.

        As part of this filtering you get lots of stuff which can't be used in a direct criminal proceeding, but makes good reading and useful hints as to where to look - so long as no one finds out that you saw it as part of another wiretap.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

          Part of the problem for law enforcement is that wiretaps, particularly to large buildings, is that it is like trying to drink from a fire hose - you get much more than you intend and filtering it out can be difficult.

          It's not hard filter out a specific signal from a trunk because the signalling structure is pretty standard.

          That said, that's explicitly not what they did (which the FBI and DoJ now confirmed). They monitor (where possible) communications exiting the US to nations and places of interest, and Russia is definitely on that list. In other words, they didn't deal with the comms coming out of a building, they dealt with traffic going to Russia and originating there.

          The fact that that has Trump spooked suggests something has been communicated that he would prefer other people not to know, the surest argument ever to start digging.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

      That "Trump was working with the Russians" idea was primarily based off of those nonexistent wiretaps.

      If there weren't any wiretaps, the whole thing goes down the drain.

      Ah, comprehensive reading, I knew you well.

      First of all, the wiretaps: the allegation was that they were made at Trump Tower. That was easy to disprove because that's not how they caught the transmissions they have: they monitored transmissions with Russia, NOT explicitly at Trump Tower. A nice get out, and wholly made possible by Trump being so specific.

      Next, disproving Trump's relationships with Russia is going to be a tad challenging as there is a veritable mountain of other evidence which happens to include Trump's & Kushner's own statements years earlier.

      Last but not least, it was fairly clear that Trump just wanted to create a distraction (one of many, many time and money wasting ones) so nobody was ever expecting a positive result.

      Terribly sorry to burst your balloon but it doesn't get him off, not by a long shot.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

      If there weren't any wiretaps, the whole thing goes down the drain.

      Taps, drain - most plumbers I know are brighter ..

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Oblig: Fake News

    "It is a Lie" says the Tweeter in Chief

    "What about your Tax Resturns?"

    "Next question!"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, uhm, dare I ask? ;)

    So Obama wasn't spying on Trump.

    But is Trump by any chance spying on Obama? ;)

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: So, uhm, dare I ask? ;)

      How about

      Is there any possibility that Trump isn't spying on people that he shouldn't be?

      If there is, it's very small...

  10. DrXym Silver badge

    Not surprising

    As president, Trump would have the complete authority and power to declassify any wiretapping operation assuming there was one to begin with. Instead he took a cheap shot at his predecessor and didn't follow through with any evidence.

    That said, intelligence agencies can and do gather intelligence on "agents of foreign powers" so if one of those were conversing with somebody in Trump's organisation, or talking to somebody else and mentioning their name, then it would be incidental collection. The agency wasn't monitoring Trump / associates / business directly but those things came up in things they were monitoring.

    It may well be that such incidental collection contains some very damning conversations between Trump's cohorts and foreign agents. In which case that might explain his ranting.

  11. MCMLXV

    @cirby: So much for that Russian collusion story...

    Interesting points you make there. Is Big John on holiday?

    1. Comments are attributed to your handle
      Trollface

      Re: @cirby: So much for that Russian collusion story...

      Give it a few hours. Fabricating nonsense rebuttals takes time, you know!

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: @cirby: So much for that Russian collusion story...

        And he's not the one fabricating the nonsense, he's just parroting it. The guys at Breitbart, and Trump apologists like Hannity come up with the excuses, and then Trump bots mobilize on internet forums to spread the talking points like manure.

  12. Fink-Nottle

    Between the lines ...

    No wiretaps 'between June 16, 2015, and the present'

    From which it follows that wiretaps ceased on June 15, 2915, right?

    1. Trollslayer Silver badge

      Re: Between the lines ...

      Please Archie, make an effort.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Between the lines ...

        Gussie not Archie.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never argue with an idiot

    "contrary to a much-publicised accusation by President Trump to the contrary"

    Again and again, Mr Trump keeps proving the old saying: "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience".

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Never argue with an idiot

      He has 70 years of experience as an idiot, which is why he was able to beat the entire republican field once he sunk the primary campaign down to his level (i.e. insults and bullying)

  14. ritey

    They have just had their office shredders serviced though

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      My brain read that as "They have just had their office servers shredded though".

  15. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    The Russians were tapping Trump's phones

    And they've got the goods on him, which is why he's so nice to Putin.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Russians were tapping Trump's phones

      Hmm, that highlights an interesting question.

      If Putin were to instruct all debts to be called in, I suspect the Orange one would have to declare bankruptcy to avoid a large part of that non-public tax return to be sucked into the black hole that would create (not a new trick for him: he's done that many times before to escape payment obligations).

      The question is: can you still be a president when bankrupt? It's clear that being morally bankrupt does not matter because he + Republicans demonstrate that on a daily basis, but would being financially bankrupt matter?

      Hmm. :)

  16. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    So there were no legal requests made for any illegal operations ...

    quelle surprise

  17. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    No 'evidence' != didn't happen.

    ^ Just this. Of course they eavesdropped on Trump somehow. Didn't help though, did it? Clinton screwed up the best possible advantage all by her little rotten self.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: No 'evidence' != didn't happen.

      No evidence is a strong indicator that it didn't happen to those of us who don't think the pyramids were built by space aliens as grain silos. Or something.

      The "everybody knows" deductive method is, however, the official OPOTUS sanctioned method of determining facts, so I suppose I cannot argue with your self-evident truth.

      Yes, "they" eavesdropped on Trump. No doubt using more space alien technology that cannot be detected with mere earth science.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: No 'evidence' != didn't happen.

        I'm happy to go with the whole aliens thing if it makes you happy, but my real points were that:

        1. Politics is a rotten dirty and generally moral-free business, so I expect every candidate uses 'means' to get information from every other candidate. So I reckon Trump was bugged in some way, and probably wire tapped. I expect Clinton was too, but Trump was more bombastic and less careful, and less appreciative of the depths politicians will sink to. So he'd be an easy target, and one thing a politician loves is an easy target.

        2. Even with the amazing advantage of running against Trump, Clinton screwed up monumentally. And I do believe she's a rotten, evil and nasty piece of work. Just like her strangely haggard husband. Remember: women can be evil and vicious too.

        I also believe that Trump is just what America needs now: they need to look long and hard at themselves, recalibrate and reset, and start again. Just like the UK does. I don't think America needs Trump for more than a year though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No 'evidence' != didn't happen.

          @word_merchant, you keep talking about Clinton without anything to back it up (nor is its relevant at this moment in time). Have you actually ever really looked at the evidence? Do you really think Trump would have needed Russian help if it weer all true? Or do you work for Comrade Putin and are tasked with keeping an eye on us mainly freethinking and annoyingly critical lot?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No 'evidence' != didn't happen.

            Clinton just makes me shudder, and strong hunches are usually a signal worth watching out for. But, in order:

            1. Yes, I have looked at the evidence, but of course it's my opinion vs yours; and we'll never agree.

            2. Exactly what Russian help did Trump get? Given that no-one has proved electoral fraud, do the Russians have some sort of influencer ray that coerces voters? Are they that far ahead? Or did a lot of people just not like Clinton?

            3. No. If I did, I'd probably use more advanced social techniques than commenting on a fairly obscure technical site. If I can't convince you, how could I convince a population? Or do you consider yourself just too damn smart to be tricked. Well done you...

            It's absurdly naive to think that Trump == bad and Clinton == good. They're both pretty terrible but Trump is so bombastic and loud he's transparent by accident. Clinton is sly and a long-standing politician who's used to being at the top and doesn't like it that her and her haggard husband are now irrelevant. Who knows what she's capable of? You don't. I don't. But it'll be more than we can imagine.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: No 'evidence' != didn't happen.

              And MY point was that "I think" has about as much validity as space alien pyramids.

              ie none.

              I'm surprised that you discount the Russian thing though. There's a mountain (and mounting) circumstantial evidence of collusion and evildoing of the sort specifically forbidden in the Constitution, which the Americans had the wit to write down.

              Much more than there was for, to pick one from the bunch unopened on the hall table, the Vince Foster affair.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: No 'evidence' != didn't happen.

      If you live in the USA and make a phone call or send email to a foreign state then it will be monitored - that's what the NSA does. What kind of idiot thinks otherwise ...

  18. El Kapitan

    Not “Tapping” but Boffins Reading DNS Logs

    As I noted after Trump's Tweet: It’s not “wires tapped” and Obama wasn’t involved. I think, thanks to something he read on Breitbart, Trump finally learned about a story from Slate in October last year. This was the discovery by anonymous academics and experts looking into the alleged Russian hacking of Democrat emails who found an e-mail server run by the Trump organization that seemed to be set up for direct communication with Alfa Bank in Russia.

    Quite separately, there was also the dossier compiled by Brit ex-MI5 spy Christopher Steele, that exposed Russian links to various Trump affiliates, in which the company Alfa Bank featured. This is the basis of the warning that US Security Department and Obama personally relayed to Trump, which Trump made light of.

    So, I think what Trump “just found out about” was not “tapping” but reading DNS logs, not by Obama or the Feds but by anonymous experts, and not illegal. All minor distinctions to the old geezer running their country.

  19. Bob Rocket

    Absence of Evidence

    is not evidence of absence.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Absence of Evidence

      So we have no evidence that Trump didn't kill JFK

  20. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    Gee, what a surprise!

    Chump...er...Trump caught lying. Again.

    And in other news, Sun slated to come up in the east again tomorrow.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Gee, what a surprise!

      Wonder if Obama will sue for libel?

      On the other hand, to prove damages, Obama would have to claim that people listen to and believe anything that POTUS says

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Gee, what a surprise!

        It's worth remembering how many people Trump promised to sue, during his campaign.

        This article documents 20 threats, against more than 30 different targets. Only two of them were followed through.

        If you think about it, a threat is just another kind of promise. So 10% fulfilment is pretty good from Trump.

  21. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    So, you are trying to tell me that OPOTUS has got nothing? That this has all been empty blovation?

    I'm shocked and appalled.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BS 101 - Trump "University"

    1. Trump makes up some shit

    2. Media goes nuts

    ~

    3. Truth comes out, Trumpster found to be the liar he is

    4. Media goes "Meh"

    Repeat.

  23. herman Silver badge

    In Absentia...

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

  24. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    You are missing the story

    The wiretap story got started because of strange DNS requests that were seen on the root servers for sites in Russia about 6-7 months prior to the election (El Reg covered the story). These were traced to the Trump tower and the inhabitants notified that they appeared to have been hacked - which they denied.

    So, if they weren't hacked, they must have been chatting wit the Russians for quite a while ... maybe one of Putin's girls gave Trump a nice gold-platted USB stick to use when he returned home from Russian?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, I appear to be missing something here.

    Why the hell should Obama be wiretapping Trump, apart from for giggles?

    The Whitehouse is no longer his problem, I can't see any reason he should be bothered. Following him on Twitter is probably just as productive.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's more missing evidence here..

    I'm going back to basics here. Up until now, I have not seen any evidence that Trump is American.

    1 - his skin colour is not found in the US (I've seen some of it in Essex, though).

    2 - he barely speaks English. Sorry, make that "American".

    3 - there is no track record of him paying taxes as we've never seen his tax returns.

    4 - as yet, no birth certificate has been produced.

    As far as I can tell, he's as much made in America as Ivanka's products.

    :)

  27. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Everybody knows

    So Trumpy the clown would be a pathological liar living in a fantasy world?

    No kidding ^^

  28. unwarranted triumphalism

    Obama is still lying, even after leaving office.

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