It’s been over a week since President Trump claimed that Barack Obama wiretapped the phones in Trump Tower prior to his campaign, but he hasn’t really mentioned a whole lot about it since, doing almost everything within his power to avoid the topic. That, however, hasn’t prevented his publicist, Kellyanne Conway, from trying to view the topic from a slightly different angle.
In an interview with Mike Kelly for the Bergen Record, Conway suggested that surveillance isn’t only limited to phones and computers, but could also be conducted through many other means, such as TVs and microwaves. The statement came when Mike Kelly asked a relatively simple question, whether Conway knows whether Trump Tower was wiretapped, and her response was equal parts mindblowing and confusing.
“There was an article that week that talked about how you can surveil people through their phones, through their — certainly through their television sets, any number of different ways.” Conway added, “and microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. We know that is just a fact of modern life.” Microwaves that turn into cameras?
It turns out Conway was referring to a Wikileaks release from last week that mentioned a tool dubbed “Weeping Angel” — An internet connected Smart-TV by Samsung turned into a microphone. This is also a tool that the former head of the CIA, Michael Hayden, flatly denied being in use, saying “I can tell you that these tools would not be used against an American.”
So it turns out she wasn’t completely making stuff up, more just elaborating on a document that she didn’t completely understand. Yes, there is a belief that a Smart-TV could be tinkered to become a microphone, but most would realize that the repercussions of trying to install a camera in a microwave would be nothing short of disastrous. Conway took to Twitter on Monday morning to try and clarify her comments.
2/2: response to Bergen Record was about surveillance articles in news & techniques generally, not about campaign. Headline just wrong.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) March 13, 2017
Later on Monday morning, Conway took back her statement on CNN. “I’m not inspector gadget,” she said. “I don’t believe people are using the microwave to spy on the campaign.” Conway later went on to take it a step further, stating there she has no proof of Trump’s claims at all on Good Morning America. “The answer is I don’t have any evidence, and I’m very happy that the House intelligence committee are investigating.”