To the Editor:
I listened to the White House press conference March 7 and to a number pundits’ reports on CNN and MSNBC, and not once did I hear the question asked that would have cleared up the mystery of President Donald Trump’s tweet that President Barack Obama had Trump Tower bugged during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The question I heard repeated over and over was, to paraphrase: What evidence or proof does Trump have that what he tweeted is true?
The answer I repeatedly heard was: Congress will be looking into that. A nice deflection of the question, but what sounds to me a lot like the beginning of a cover-up.
The right question was “What has the president told you was the source of his information?” or “Haven’t you asked him?” If the answers are “Nothing” and “No,” the obvious follow-up would have been “Then why are we sitting here asking for information?” followed by the questioner and, hopefully, everyone else in the room standing and walking out.
If the answer was ,“Yes, I’ve asked, and yes he has told me,” the obvious follow-up if necessary would be “Fox News and the Breitbart News Network, of which Steve Bannon was president before becoming a senior White House adviser, speculated about wiretaps being ordered by President Obama that aired before the president’s tweet.” Did the president get his information from Fox News, Breitbart News or directly from Steve Bannon?
Any and all of these questions can be answered without revealing any classified information or even the methods and techniques used to collect classified information, the usual excuse for not revealing the truth to the American people. Competent questioning by the White House press corps would have resolved the mystery quickly. Refusal by the White House press secretary to ask the president about his source of information would have demonstrated loyalty to the president, but incompetence as a press secretary and a basis for questioning the loyalty of the press secretary to the American people.
Any of that would have accomplished something positive, if someone, anyone, would have asked the right question.