National Security & Defense

The Most Unnecessary Diplomatic Incident Ever?

The kerfuffle with Britain over allegations that their intelligence service might have somehow aided the “wiretapping” of Trump Tower has to be one of the most gratuitous diplomatic incidents between advanced, friendly countries ever. Trump has shown the ability to memory hole and move on from some of his most outrageous statements in the past and he would have been well-served to try to do that immediately after his wiretapping claims (or, even better, not to have tweeted them in the first place). There might eventually be a colorable way for Trump partisans to claim some sort of vindication if it emerges that people in his orbit were being surveilled and some of his conversations were incidentally picked up. But both the literal and serious interpretations of his tweets were clearly unsustainable, and it’s been foolish for Trump’s team to twist themselves into knots, to disrupt their own government, and to alienate allies trying to find retroactive justification for them. 

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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