When President Donald trump, in one of his famous Twitter rants, claimed that President Obama had wire tapped him, he elicited a lot of eye rolling that rose to a crescendo of outrage when FBI Director Jim Comey told a congressional committee that no evidence existed that such ever took place. But now the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep Devin Nunes, suggested that something like a wiretap may well have occurred, all perfectly legal, for the most part.

Nunes told the White House and the media that members of the Trump transition team were incidentally surveilled in the context of an investigation of a foreign target.

This sort of thing can happen when a person is having a conversation with a target of an inquiry. The law states that the identity of a presumed to be innocent American who is identified in this manner needs to be masked. However, Nunes is suggesting that some members of the Trump team, including possibly the then president-elect himself, were “unmasked” and wound up being prominently mentioned in intelligence reports for political and not legal reasons. Former National Security Advisor Flynn was exposed in such a manner, the information leaked to the media, resulting in his firing from the post he occupied for just a few days.

Democrats are, understandably, incensed. Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff has been particularly irate because Nunes did not inform him before running off to the White House with the breathless news.

Trump has pronounced himself vindicated because of the news. Democrats are yelling that this is all a plot to distract from what they feel is a libeling of Obama, who surely never do anything as crass as would arrange for his political opponents to be wiretapped and surveilled.

And if he did, it must have been only because said opponents were up to something, like plotting with the Russians to steal the 2016 presidential election.

The problem is that Democrats cannot let go of the conspiracy theory that Trump is the Manchurian Candidate. Any facts, such as the idea that Obama was playing fast and loose with intelligence gather, which distracts from this meme must be suppressed.

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