Letters to the Editor

Trump wrong about ‘police state’ blame on Obama

Florida Gov. Rick Scott poses for a selfie with President-elect Donald Trump during their meeting at Trump Tower in New York on Thursday.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott poses for a selfie with President-elect Donald Trump during their meeting at Trump Tower in New York on Thursday. Gov. Scott's Twitter account

The strategic offensive principle of war provides that “(the) best defense is a good offense.” The attack via Twitter by President Donald Trump against his predecessor is, however, beyond reason.

In tweets early Saturday morning, President Trump accused former President Barack Obama of orchestrating a “Nixon/Watergate” plot to wiretap Trump Tower shortly before the November 2016 election. While citing no evidence and providing none later in the day, Trump likened the alleged surveillance to “McCarthyism” and labeled Obama a “[b]ad (or sick) guy!” A spokesperson for Obama, of course, denied the accusation.

At this stage, we the public cannot know what is really at issue. Trump senior staff had, however, been circulating a Breitbart article on remarks by conservative talk show host Mark Levin last Thursday suggesting that Obama used “police state” tactics to monitor the Trump campaign last fall. The Levin remarks were based on previous news accounts. These included reports of denial last June by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of a request to monitor communications involving Trump campaign staff and of a narrower FISA request in October covering a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks.

What we do know is that Trump has declared war on major segments of both mainstream media and United States intelligence services over allegations of contacts by Trump campaign personnel with senior Russian intelligence officials. The scandal has already taken down National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and tainted Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Now Trump has escalated the conflict by launching an assault using means totally outside of normal governmental channels.

Even critics acknowledged with his first speech to Congress last Tuesday that Trump was sounding more presidential. A few days later, we are back to such madness —from the guy in charge of the nuclear codes!

Jan Schneider

Sarasota

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