As the noted philosopher Idina Menzel has elucidated, it’s sometimes best to simply let things go. Yet despite the cold weather in Washington this week, the White House has failed to take the lessons of Frozen to heart.
Take the debate—raging, inexplicably, for nearly two weeks now—around President Trump’s claim, put forth in a series of tweets, that former President Barack Obama tapped his wires at Trump Tower. On Thursday, two senators looking into the allegation said they had seen no evidence for it, even as Trump’s chief spokesman assured reporters that he stands by the accusation.
Or stands by some version of it. Here are the original tweets, for reference:
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
These messages created a tizzy, because they constituted a very serious claim: Trump was suggesting that the president of the United States had illegally surveilled a candidate for president. (Obama, through a spokesman, has said the story is not true.)