On Thursday, NBC reported that federal investigators “tapped” phones belonging to Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer. The report, which cited two anonymous sources, said that the wiretapping had been in place in the weeks before an FBI raid on Michael Cohen’s office and living space.
But almost immediately after the report was published, it was met with skepticism by legal experts.
“Wiretaps are difficult to get,” tweeted Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Also they signify proof of an ongoing crime. And you don’t tap a President’s attorney lightly.”
Within a few hours, NBC had revised their story and issued a correction: The story now reported that federal investigators had been monitoring the list of calls placed by phones belonging to Michael Cohen — not a live wiretap that allowed them to listen to conversations. The log is commonly called a pen register, and lists the sender and receiver of the phone calls.
NBC reported, based on two anonymous sources close to Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s current lawyers, that Cohen had told Trump not to call him on a particular phone because he believed it to be bugged.
On Friday morning, Trump tweeted his response to the report.
NBC NEWS is wrong again! They cite “sources” which are constantly wrong. Problem is, like so many others, the sources probably don’t exist, they are fabricated, fiction! NBC, my former home with the Apprentice, is now as bad as Fake News CNN. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2018
Michael Cohen’s Phone Being Tapped, NBC Said