Former Bush attorney general: Trump likely right about surveillance

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Sunday said that President Trump is likely correct that there was surveillance on Trump Tower for intelligence purposes, but incorrect in accusing former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Memo: Is Michelle Obama the one critic Trump can’t hit back? Democrats huddle for 2020 ‘friend-raisers’ O'Rourke receives invite to visit Iowa from Democratic Party in Des Moines MORE of ordering the wiretapping.

“I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney general — at the Justice Department,” Mukasey told ABC’s “This Week.” 

Trump on Saturday accused Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower in New York City just before the November election.

ADVERTISEMENT

A spokesman for Obama denied that the former president or the White House ordered any such surveillance.

"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 said in a statement.

"As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen," Lewis added. "Any suggestion otherwise is simply false."

Mukasey, who served as the attorney general under former President George W. Bush, said he believes there was surveillance on Trump Tower after reading certain news reports.

Mukasey said if there were a wiretap on Trump Tower, it would mean that there was suspicion someone had been acting as Russian agent. 

"It means there was some basis to believe that somebody in Trump Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians for whatever purpose,” he said. “Not necessarily the election, but for some purpose.”