PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Independent journalist Sharyl Attkisson suggested the investigation of Donald Trump's links to Russian interference in last year's presidential election may be an effort to cover up illegal government surveillance conducted against his campaign and other politicians, telling Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that his surprise victory may end up exposing the entire conspiracy.
"They didn't think Donald Trump was going to be elected President. I think it's a legitimate theory that he wasn't the only candidate they looked at and I also think there was a lot of panic when he was elected that he and his people would be able to see what they'd done. So, perhaps, you could see the Russia, Russia, Russia as a diversionary tactic to either justify what they'd done or make it look like there was reason to do it, or, to, at least, have a shiny ball thrown in one direction so that when this other stuff came out, people would be confused and not pay much attention to it or not really know what to make of it."
Attkisson alleges that government surveillance on multiple levels is out of control and is easily manipulated to skirt laws and regulations.
"I suspect, and have all along, just based on the information that was coming out, that there was more of a pattern, if not an organized effort, that, in fact, to really push the envelope on a lot of this. I believe that journalists last Summer were queried inappropriately by political actors in the NSA database to try and find information. I have sources who say that, in recent years, the incidental surveillance where the government has allowed itself to capture innocent US citizens without a warrant, if they happen to contact a foreign target knowingly or not, they can capture, then, all of the communications of the US citizen. I've been told that they sometimes were engineered to capture the US citizen. In other words, it wasn't incidental. The US citizen was somebody that the government wanted to find communications about, so they found ways to reverse engineer ways to capture it and justify it. "
She also accuses intelligence agencies of delaying and obstructing requests to reveal the scope of the surveillance in question.
"A lot of mischief, I think, was going on and I suspect for political reasons. I think some of that will come out but, so far, the administration has tried to get some unmasking information, who was doing it, what names? The bureaucracy, the establishment, whatever you want to call it, the deep state, has withheld this information."
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