On Saturday morning president Trump tweeted he had just learned something that many media outlets had already reported: that the Trump Tower was wiretapped during the Obama Administration. The major media, which for a month has insinuated -- without evidence -- the Trump Administration is being jointly run by the Kremlin, went wild. Trump was immediately dubbed a conspiracy theorist peddling "right-wing" fabrications. The reflexive impulse on display was to mock Trump's claim first, and investigate it later.
And with an entire weekend news cycle to fill, the usual media habit of always having to out-hype the earlier report quickly led to some truly unhinged moments. Here are our top five.
5. If you turned on the TV Saturday, you certainly heard that Trump tweeted "without evidence" he had been wiretapped. Again, this is a bit rich coming from the same people who have been peddling the (unsubstantiated) theory Trump is working hand-in-glove with Vladimir Putin. Jake Tapper alone made about 403 references to Trump's tweets' showing "no evidence" during the first five minutes of his Sunday CNN show, "State of the Union." Here's how the Washington Post and the New York Times covered the story:
4. ABC's Matthew Dowd suggested Trump's repeating of a claim made in news sources like The Guardian and National Journal could ultimately lead to his impeachment. For Dowd, this story is like Watergate, except rather than Obama -- the president in charge during the surveillance -- mirroring Nixon, it's Trump, and he may ultimately be impeached and/or resign.
3. During a Sunday panel on CNN, a senior political analyst for the network, Ron Brownstein, somehow argued that Trump's Saturday tweets could very well lead to Republicans losing the House of Representatives in 2018:
2. MSNBC's Ari Melber used a segment on Sunday to make the case for Trump potentially libeling Obama. The ever-present MSNBC anchor provocatively began the segment suggesting "President Trump may have put himself in legal trouble," and then attempted to argue that the president could be successfully sued for defamation/libel.
1. On ABC's "This Week," the editor and publisher of The Nationa, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, cited Trump's wiretap tweets as proof that the president "wants to destroy the infrastructure of democracy and media information." She then issued a call for her media colleagues, urging "We cannot permit him" to destroy America's democracy.