U.S. President Donald Trump walks along the Rose Garden as he returns from a day trip to Atlanta on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2017.

Trump on wiretapping claims: ‘I don’t stand by anything’

It’s been nearly two months since Donald Trump said Barack Obama was at the center of a Watergate-like conspiracy, ordering an illegal wiretap of Trump Tower before the election. All of this, Trump said, was because his predecessor is either a “bad” or a “sick” man.

The Republican’s conspiracy theory hasn’t held up especially well, and as a rule, when a prominent figure falsely accuses a former president of a felony, there are some consequences. In Trump’s case, much of the political world simply moved on from this.

It was therefore interesting to see the subject come up during the president’s interview with CBS’s John Dickerson in the Oval Office yesterday.
TRUMP: Well, you saw what happened with surveillance. And I think that was inappropriate, but that’s the way–

DICKERSON: What does that mean, sir?

TRUMP: You can figure that out yourself.

DICKERSON: Well, I – the reason I ask is you said he was – you called him “sick and bad”.

TRUMP: Look, you can figure it out yourself.
When Dickerson asked if Trump stands by the claims he made about Obama, Trump replied, “I don’t stand by anything. I just – you can take it the way you want. I think our side’s been proven very strongly.”

I’m not entirely sure what those words mean in that order, but his conspiracy theory hasn’t been “proven very strongly.”

When Dickerson pressed further, asking if Trump still believes Obama is “bad” and/or “sick,” Trump decided the interview was over.

For a presidency that’s only 102 days old, we’ve already been treated to some highly memorable words and phrases that will no doubt be book titles in the coming years: “Unpresidented,” “Alternative Facts,” and “American Carnage.”

That said, “I don’t stand by anything” appears likely to be a classic of its own.

Barack Obama, Conspiracy Theories and Donald Trump

Trump on wiretapping claims: 'I don't stand by anything'