Ronald Reagan once said that as a candidate, he would abide by a principal he called “The Eleventh Commandment.”  In a 1966 speech, while in a gubernatorial campaign in California, Reagan said, that the state Republican party chairman postulated the dictum: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It's a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since.”
 
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) apparently violated that principle on Sunday when he called on President Trump to provide proof that Trump Power was wiretapped during the 2016 presidential campaign or retract the allegation. Multiple news outlets, Democrats, and leftists have said that Trump’s accusation against Barack Obama was unsubstantiated. Even so, the House Intelligence Committee has begun an investigation into the matter, with the blessing of the White House.
 
A frequent critic of Trump, McCain said on Sunday, "The president has one of two choices, either retract, or to provide the information that the American people deserve." McCain said "I have no reason to believe this is true, but I also believe that the president of the United States could clear this up in a minute." He continued, saying, "All he has to do is pick up the phone, call the director of the CIA, the director of national intelligence and say, 'OK, what happened?' Because they certainly should know whether the former president of the United States was wiretapping Trump Tower."
 
Obama and his surrogates continue to maintain that he did not order the alleged wiretaps. If done in a legal manner, such surveillance must be approved by applying to a special federal court. A former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said this weekend that there was no wiretap of Trump or his campaign.
 
Trump has not retracted his claim. On CBS, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was asked on Sunday if he has any evidence to support Trump’s claim. He replied: "No." However, Ryan -- who is one of eight members of Congress who receive specialized classified briefings -- said, "I don't want to get ahead of the intelligence committees and their thorough investigation."
 
The issue of surveillance has gained further currency after WikiLeaks released thousands of pages of documents purportedly from the national security apparatus that revealed methods used to hack cell phones and computers by defeating security safeguards.


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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