Will a famous quotation from the Watergate hearings about presidential involvement in a scandal come back to haunt former President Barack “Nixon” Obama?
If you were around during the Watergate hearings, even if you were a disinterested child, as I was, there was one question you simply could not avoid. Sen. Howard Baker’s simply phrased focus on Richard Nixon’s role in Watergate resonated loud and strong throughout America: “What did the president know and when did he know it?”
The question today is “What did President Obama know and when did he know it?”
This morning, Former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer sent out a tweet reminding Americans that, when the press was still denying spying (rather than admitting to it but arguing that it was for Trump’s own good), they didn’t yet see any reason to hide Peter Strzok’s admission about Obama’s involvement:
A text from an FBI agent in 2016 says “the White House is running this”, referring to the opening of the Trump investigation, and today’s press corps pays it no attention. It’s amazing the press looks the other way. And they wonder why people think they’re biased. https://t.co/A9kZ6v1cws
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) May 21, 2018
To clarify what he meant in the above tweet, Fleischer referenced one of his tweets from yesterday:
Seems to me the headline here should have been the quote cited by Peter Strzok, attributed to a redacted source, saying “The White House is running this”, referring in August 2016 to the opening of the Trump counter-intelligence investigation. https://t.co/UOaNDZNQL7
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) May 20, 2018
It’s difficult to imagine that “the White House [was] running” the trumped-up Trump counter-intelligence investigation without Obama’s knowledge. It’s possible the investigation was a rogue activity (or a Ben Rhodes activity), but I’d say that possible is not the same as probable.