CNN reporter Shimon Prokupecz said in a Thursday radio interview that the Paul Manafort wiretapping story hasn’t made him reevaluate his views on President Trump’s tweets or the government’s past statements about the issue.
It was revealed recently that the FBI issued a surveillance warrant on Manafort through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the tapping occurred both before and after the 2016 election.
“This has led a bunch of people to go back to March and look at that tweet from the President of the United States… Now we should point out that Paul Manafort lived in Trump Tower,” WMAL “Mornings on the Mall” host Vince Coglianese said to Prokupecz on Thursday. “Does all of this make Trump’s tweet from March more plausible?”
Prokupecz denied that the new reporting lends any credibility to Trump’s claims that he and Trump Tower were wiretapped.
“There is nothing to indicate that any of that is true,” he said.
“So obviously, you know, the Justice Department looked into this certainly when Trump tweeted it and we’ve gone back and we’ve talked to sources and there was never any indication that Trump Tower was wiretapped or any of the president’s own lines were tapped,” Prokupecz argued. “Yes, Paul Manafort did have an apartment at Trump Tower, but we don’t know if Trump Tower was part of this surveillance.”
If Manafort was being surveilled under FISA, though, a former CIA officer explained that it would “presumably… include his residence in Trump Tower.” It is also very likely that Manafort’s communications with Trump were captured in the surveillance. Prokupecz himself admitted in the WMAL interview that FISA warrants are “very intrusive.”
Coglianese, who also serves at the editorial director at The Daily Caller, then asked Prokupecz if the fact that Manafort was wiretapped makes him skeptical of government officials considering they previously denied any warrants were granted. Prokupecz said he is still “not at all” skeptical of the government’s statements.
On March 5, former DNI James Clapper told said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that if there were a FISA warrant on a member of the Trump campaign he would be aware of it. But then on CNN on Wednesday, Clapper said he wasn’t aware of the FISA warrant on Paul Manafort. (VIDEO: James Clapper Says He Was Unaware Of Manafort Wiretap Order)
“James Clapper has given conflicting statements to your very network on this it seems, and I would urge you to be in a perpetual state of skepticism no matter who’s your source here,” Coglianese told Prokupecz.