Donald Trump wanted to tap “the phones” of White House staffers he suspected of leaking information, according to the bombastic claims of a former Trump administration official.
Miles Taylor, who served as the Department of Homeland Security’s chief of staff under Mr Trump, has claimed so in his new book setback that sometime in 2018 the then-president came up with the idea of ”tracking treats by wiretapping phones.”
The idea was quickly scrapped by then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who warned Mr Trump he would be breaking the law.
Mr. Kelly “quickly dismissed the proposal, knowing it would be illegal,” writes Mr. Taylor in the book excerpt obtained from axios.
Mr Trump’s camp has since dismissed the allegation, criticizing Mr Taylor and his memoir, which made a series of shocking claims about Mr Trump’s time in office.
In an opinion on it axiosSteven Cheung, Trump’s campaign communications director, responded, “Miles Taylor is a loser and a lying load of shit.” His book either belongs in the fiction department’s discount bin or should be repurposed as toilet paper.”
Mr Trump once accused his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, of tapping his own phone in the run-up to the 2016 election – without any evidence whatsoever.
Mr Trump made the shocking claim in 2017 that Mr Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower in Manhattan. For his part, Mr Obama firmly denied the allegation and Mr Trump later retracted the allegation, saying he meant surveillance more broadly.
News of the disgraced ex-president’s desire to monitor his own staff comes just days after Mr Kelly released an affidavit in which the former Navy general said Mr Trump had the idea of targeting critics and perceived enemies To take sight, probes circulated by the Internal Revenue Service.
In testimony in a lawsuit filed by former FBI agent Peter Strzok, Mr Kelly said Mr Trump “questioned whether investigations by the Internal Revenue Service or other federal agencies could be conducted against Mr Strzok,” which along with another FBI official Colleagues have been shown to have disparaged Mr Trump in private text messages.