Trump's Deranged New Conspiracy Theory Already Has Staffers Dreading the Backlash

On Thursday, President Donald Trump settled one controversy while igniting another when he tweeted that he personally does not have tapes of his conversations with ousted FBI Director James Comey, but then raised the question that the Oval Office itself might be under surveillance.


“FML,” said one White House aide via text to The Daily Beast‘s Spencer Ackerman and Lachlan Markay, internet shorthand for the phrase “F*ck my life.”

Back in May after Comey leaked memos detailing Trump’s attempts to dissuade him from the Russia investigation, the president said ominously on Twitter that Comey should hope there are no “tapes” of their conversation, raising weeks-long speculation that Trump might be surveilling and recording all White House meetings.

On Thursday, in a queerly-worded tweet, Trump denied having tapes of the conversations.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey,” Trump tweeted.

Rather than dispelling controversy and putting the question to bed, Trump’s tweet raises a whole new set of questions that the White House will need to answer.

When asked for comment via text, one senior official, The Daily Beast said, simply replied, “FML.”

The tweets went live just before Sarah Huckabee Sanders was set to give the afternoon press briefing. When asked if the president was insinuating that intelligence agencies are spying on the president, Sanders replied, ““I think those are questions you’d have to ask those law enforcement agencies. There’s public record that talks about surveillance, that talks about unmasking, we know those practices take place.”

The overall purpose of the tweets, she admitted, was to “raise the question of doubt in general” about the accuracy of Comey’s testimony.

One White House aide said, “I hope Sarah enjoyed herself today, because this isn’t going away.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close