Today in the Trump Administration
Clapper: No FISA order for Trump’s offices
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated for part of the national security apparatus he oversaw as DNI, that to his knowledge, there was no FISA court order for Trump’s offices. Clapper, who made the comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” added that while he can’t speak for other Title 3 entities or local or state law enforcement, he would know if the FBI ordered some sort of surveillance. “I can deny it,” he said definitively.
Top Dem on Senate Intel Committee says Trump wiretap tweets “very reckless”
President Donald Trump’s explosive accusations about his White House predecessor’s wiretapping activities during the 2016 election have dominated headlines since he first tweeted them Saturday morning -- and two top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee discussed their implications on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), the committee’s vice chair, said Mr. Trump’s Saturday morning tweets -- in which he accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower for political reasons -- were “reckless.” Mr. Trump did not cite any evidence in his tweets, though similar claims had been circulating in the conservative media in recent days.
Leon Panetta: White House “paying a price” for lack of discipline
After another weekend in which a tweet from President Donald Trump upended the political world, former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta said the the White House is “paying a price” for its lack of “discipline.”
“When the president goes off and does what he did in the last few days of just going ahead and tweeting without checking on things, there’s something wrong,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “There’s something wrong in terms of the discipline within the White House and how you operate.”
Trump calls on Congress to investigate wiretapping accusation
President Trump is calling on Congress to investigate whether Obama abused his executive power during the presidential election. The White House issued a statement Sunday morning “requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.” The statement went on to say, “Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted.”
On Saturday morning, without citing any evidence, the president issued a series of tweets accusing Obama of tapping the phones in Trump Tower.
HHS Sec. Tom Price says “we believe in the guarantee of Medicare for our seniors”
As President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans debate the future of Medicare, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price said Sunday that Republicans “believe in the guarantee of Medicare for our seniors.”
His comments come after President Donald Trump reiterated during his address to a joint session of Congress last week that he doesn’t want to change Medicare benefits. Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he still thinks the future of Medicare is an “open question.”
Last Sunday, Kellyanne Conway wasn’t defending her boss, President Donald J. Trump, on TV. She was at church, attending mass with her husband, attorney George T. Conway, and their four children, along with some friends.
Breakfast at a diner came next, followed by some quality family time at their northern New Jersey home -- a brief return to what life used to be like.
But these days, her Sunday routine is far from normal. The new normal includes full Secret Service protection.
“Why? Have there been threats?” asked O’Donnell.
“Yes,” Conway replied. “I have 24/7 Secret Service protection.”
“Face the Nation”
Vice Chairman of the Sen. Select Committee on Intelligence Mark Warner, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, HHS Secretary Tom Price and former Defense Secretary and former CIA Director Leon Panetta are the guests on “Face the Nation” this week.
AP review: High court nominee Gorsuch inclined to limit environmental groups
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has shown a willingness to limit the participation of environmental groups in lawsuits involving public lands, writing in one case that allowing conservationists to intervene could complicate and slow down the judicial process, according to an Associated Press review of his rulings as a federal appeals court judge.
Gorsuch has spent a decade on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears disputes about public lands ranging from energy companies’ drilling rights to the use of off-road vehicles in national forests across six Western states.
AP: National Monuments
Republican leaders in Maine and Utah are asking President Donald Trump to step into uncharted territory and rescind national monument designations made by his predecessor.
The Antiquities Act of 1906 doesn’t give the president power to undo a designation, and no president has ever taken such a step. But Trump isn’t like other presidents.
Former President Barack Obama used his power under the act to permanently preserve more land and water using national monument designations than any other president. The land is generally off limits to timber harvesting, mining and pipelines, and commercial development.
What you missed yesterday
Trump claims Obama tapped Trump Tower phones before election
President Trump woke up at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Saturday morning firing off a tweetstorm claiming that President Obama essentially wiretapped, or bugged, Trump Tower offices before the election.
CBS News has been unable to confirm any of this new information.
But the president is clearly irritated.
Trump wiretap tweets a departure from optimistic tone in address to Congress
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Before most Americans awoke on Saturday, President Trump was on Twitter, posting explosive wiretapping accusations against President Obama. Mr. Trump claims he recently learned Mr. Obama ordered what Mr. Trump describes as a “Watergate-style” wiretap on Trump Tower in New York. He says it happened just before the election.
Mr. Trump offered no evidence and a spokesman for Mr. Obama issued a quick denial. It comes amid growing controversy over the Trump administration’s possible Russian ties, and the president is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
Obama spokesman calls Trump wiretapping claims “simply false”
“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” Kevin Lewis, an Obama spokesman, said in a Saturday afternoon statement. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen.”
“Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” he added.
Conservative media pushed wiretapping claims before Trump did
President Trump’s string of tweets Saturday morning accusing President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign came seemingly out of nowhere: It wasn’t something the president had been discussing recently, nor had it appeared in major mainstream news outlets.
But Mr. Trump’s tweets weren’t the first time this allegation has been made: Several conservative media outlets have been pushing wiretapping claims in recent days.
Democrats respond to Trump’s wiretapping claim
While at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida for the weekend, Mr. Trump fired off a series of early morning tweets accusing President Obama, without citing evidence, of wiretapping Trump Tower. He described this as “Nixon/Watergate,” calling Mr. Obama a “bad (or sick) guy.”
Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser under Mr. Obama, denied Mr. Trump’s accusations and responded by saying presidents can’t order wiretaps.
Vice President Mike Pence blasts the AP for publishing wife’s email address
Vice President Mike Pence criticized the Associated Press for publishing the personal email address of his wife, Karen Pence, in a story on Friday about his efforts to block the release of his emails during his tenure as Indiana governor.
On Saturday, Pence said the AP was “violating her privacy and our security” by publishing the second lady’s AOL email address. He tweeted a letter sent by his counsel, Mark Paoletta, addressed to Gary Pruitt, the president and CEO of the AP, saying Pruitt “should be ashamed of your reprehensible conduct.”
The president is in Mar-a-Lago for the weekend. CBS News’ Mark Knoller notes that by the end of the weekend, Mr. Trump will have spent all or part of 14 days at Mar-a-Lago, amounting to 31 percent of his days in office, so far.
“Florida to me is a very very special state,” said Mr. Trump Friday. “I have had a lot of success in Florida. I love it. It is my second home.”
Other states he’s been to: Delaware -1; Pennsylvania - 1; South Carolina - 1; Virginia - 2 (Not counting visits to Pentagon and Andrews AFB).
Vice President Pence attends the closed Gridiron dinner.