The WatchHawk: Week seven of Trump’s administration


Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters after he speaks at a rally at Gilley’s Dallas on Thursday, June 16, 2016. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Samantha Durham | Assistant Opinion Editor

Trump accuses Obama of wiretapping

President Donald J. Trump accused former President Barack Obama of surveilling the Trump Tower during his 2016 campaign. On March 4, President Trump took to Twitter to voice his concerns over the matter.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” 

However, Trump’s Tweets regarding Barack Obama only kept coming. He Tweeted later on that day, “How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

While Trump’s claim has remained unproven, Obama was not pleased with the accusation. According to The Wall Street Journal, those close to Obama stated he was “livid” about the claims made by President Trump. However, President Obama vowed before leaving office that he would not respond to every controversial thing Trump Tweeted, but that he would “examine it when it comes.”

Many are unsure where these accusations towards Obama surfaced from. Trump’s Tweets were made without any form of evidence presented alongside the accusation to support his claim.

President Trump, however, has remained firm in regards to this issue. His biggest problem? Lack of support from his team.

According to Politico, Trump’s two biggest defenders, Vice President Mike Pence and White House press secretary Sean Spicer, refuse to stand by Trump’s claim directly. During an interview on Wednesday, Pence was asked if he agreed or disagreed with President Trump’s allegations of being wiretapped by Obama.

Politico reported that Pence refused to answer directly, instead stating, “the President and our administration are very confident that the congressional committees in the House and Senate that are examining issues surrounding the last election, the run-up to the last election, will do that in a thorough and equitable way. They’ll look at those issues; they’ll look at other issues that have been raised.”

Trump’s new travel ban

President Trump promised it would come and it finally has. The newly revised travel ban is here. According to The New York Times, Trump’s new order blocks migrants from six countries that are predominantly Muslim from entering the United States.

After the original ban in January saw immense protests and backlash, many are hoping this new travel ban will be received better by the general public. However, those hopes are fleeting as Democrats have continued to bash the travel ban overall.

The revised ban has many of the same elements as the original, but it seems to operate in a different fashion. According to The New York Times, the new order still imposes a 90-day hold on travelers from six countries, but removed Iraq from the ban.

The new ban also exempts those permanently residing in the United States and all current visa holders from facing issues with the ban. Alongside those changes, refugees from Syria are not on an indefinite ban, but rather a 120-day freeze that requires review and renewal, reported The New York Times.

Preet Bharara fights back

President Trump and his administration have not been able to escape the media easily on this one. Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, did not lay down when he was asked for his letter of resignation on Friday, reported CNN. The Trump administration, however, did not just request a letter of resignation from Preet Bharara, but also from 45 other attorneys.

While many are stating this is a common act by new administrations, the anger and frustration surrounding these resignations was surely unexpected by the Trump administration.

According to CNN, many officials are claiming they were given no warning about their dismissals. Many found out about their resignations after the Department of Justice released a statement and were disappointed they were not informed beforehand. Many are stating that this method is a poor way to handle the situation.

Bharara was one of those individuals, as he explained, that felt “blindsided” and was reassured by Trump in November he would stay on, reported CNN. He simply stated that he refused to turn in his resignation, putting President Trump in the position to have to fire him. On Saturday, Trump did indeed fire Bharara. Bharara took to Twitter soon after to emphasize that he was fired and did not resign as he was asked to.

While it is not unusual for new administration to hire their own choices for US attorney positions, it is uncommon for current attorney’s to be asked to resign without a replacement, according to CNN.