Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington:
- Supreme Court rules for credit card merchants
- President Trump moves to undo Obama's Clean Power Plan
- The House Freedom Caucus looks to be back driving the GOP
- Who will win the emerging White House war over trade policy?
- Supreme Court reverses death sentence for Texas man with mental disability
- Rep. Adam B. Schiff says Rep. Devin Nunes can no longer chair committee investigating Trump campaign
Last week, the White House tried to avoid giving further life to President Trump’s stunning and unsupported allegation that President Obama ordered surveillance of him last year.
And when Wikileaks posted new documents claiming to expose surveillance tactics available to the intelligence community, the White House steadfastly refused to confirm their validity, in keeping with longstanding U.S. policy about keeping spying operations secret.
In the space of a few seconds, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared to undo both administration objectives.
In an interview in her New Jersey home with the local newspaper, the Bergen Record, Conway was asked about whether Trump’s wiretap claim distracted from White House efforts to sell his agenda.
“There are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately,” she said. “There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets, any number of different ways. And microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. So we know that that is just a fact of modern life.”
Put another way, Conway gave credence to the documents published by Wikileaks in an attempt to back up the president’s claim.
Conway attempted to defend herself, saying her comments were being misconstrued.
On CNN, she said she had been asked about “surveillance generally.” But the Bergen Record columnist’s question was more specific: “Do you know whether Trump Tower was wiretapped?"
So Conway went another direction on CNN.
“I’m not in the job of having evidence,” she said. “That’s what investigations are for.”
As the comments made the rounds on morning television, Trump appeared to back up Conway, his top aide and former campaign manager, in a tweet.