President Trump has flip-flopped on numerous positions from health care to his opinion on Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to whether China is a currency manipulator because he faces a steep learning curve on the job, according to the New York Times.
One of his stumbles came when he tweeted that President Obama had tapped his phones at Trump Tower just before he was elected last November.
It turns out at the time, Trump didn’t even understand the process the President or any government agency, including the FBI, must go through before tapping a phone.
Since 1978 – when it was created in the wake of the Watergate abuses – even the President needs approval from the super-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, commonly known as FISA, to get a warrant for electronic surveillance.
FISA is made up of 11 federal judges who each serve a seven-year term. They are selected by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. They meet in private, often in the middle of the night, and the targets they approve are highly classified.
The most recent example to go public of the use of a FISA approved warrant involved Carter Page, then an aide to the Trump campaign, who the FBI went after in the belief he was a secret agent of a foreign government – Russia.
There has never been any proof that President Obama wiretapped Trump, and the FBI and others after an investigation have declared it never happened. There was certainly no FISA warrant approved.
That hasn’t stopped Trump from stubbornly standing by his false tweet made in the middle of the night without any intelligence input.
His ignorance about FISA may show he is going through a steep learning curve as President, as the New York Times details, but that is not good news for the American people who need a chief executive that is ready to do the job because he has experience, good judgment, and strong analytical skills.
It is clear Trump has almost none of those.