Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims that President Obama wiretapped his phones:
“The American public and press must not be distracted by yet another sideshow stunt orchestrated by a President who is unraveling at the seams. Do not be misled. Donald Trump is a compulsive liar who will say and do anything to distract from the very serious questions about his associates' and campaign's ties to Russia. Despite his efforts to stonewall and obstruct credible investigations, Donald Trump's lies are being exposed and each passing day brings new revelations to light.
“For months, Donald Trump has claimed that his campaign and associates had no connections to Russia. And yet, we now know that several key individuals in his inner circle were in communication with Russian operatives and subsequently tried to obscure those meetings. Why would Jeff Sessions, Carter Page, and Mike Flynn conceal their meetings with the Russian Ambassador during a time when the intelligence community was warning US officials that Russians were interfering in our elections? Why would Jared Kushner then hide his meeting with Mike Flynn and the Russian Ambassador during the transition? Why did Donald Trump deny the intelligence community’s report on the Russian interference in the 2016 election, insult federal agents, and instead side with the Kremlin in denouncing what intelligence officials concluded about the Russian cyberattacks? Why has President Trump at every juncture shown more deference to the Kremlin than the American analysts and agents who serve and fight to protect this country every day? In my estimation, it is because Donald Trump has something to hide and doesn't want the American people to know the truth.
“Despite his outlandish accusations against President Obama, the fact of the matter is an American President cannot unilaterally authorize a wiretap on anyone. For President Trump to ask for a congressional investigation based on his ridiculous claims is shameful and just another attempt to deflect attention from his ‘Kremlin Klan” and the investigations into his campaign’s ties to Russia.
“Shame on this President and anyone around him who fuels and enables his lies and vitriol. The question now is for Republicans of conscience in the House and Senate. How long will they let this unhinged man wreak havoc on our democracy? That's not hyperbole. That is the stated objective of Trump’s closest advisor, Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon wants to break our system and I stand ready to fight him and Trump every step of the way.”