Mark your calendars for this day in history: March 14 is the day a White House press secretary was forced to comment on the surveillance capabilities of the microwave.
Thanks to his conspiracy-theory-minded boss’s claim that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower — and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s odd decision to muse about how such surveillance could have been conducted via phones, TVs and even microwaves — here’s an actual exchange between a reporter and Sean Spicer on Tuesday:
QUESTION: Does the president believe that he was surveilled through microwaves and televisions?
SPICER: I’m not going to — I will just say the president has tweeted about this. He’s pretty clear that he believes there was surveillance conducted during the 2016 election. We’re going to wait for the conclusion of that. I think there’s pretty sound evidence that the microwave is not a sound way of surveilling someone. And I think that has been cleaned up. It was made in jest. So I think we can put that to rest.
Spicer almost no-commented on a question about whether the president of the United States believes he was monitored via microwave, and then apparently thought better of it. You wouldn’t want to foreclose any possibilities about what Trump might believe, apparently.
Spicer is correct that the microwave isn’t a particularly good surveillance tool. While the WikiLeaks documents did point to such capabilities using mobile phones and Samsung TVs, the microwave isn’t really part of it.
However, Spicer’s claim that Conway was speaking “in jest” doesn’t make sense at all. We’ll let you watch the video to judge for certain …
… but it sure doesn’t seem like Conway was distinguishing the microwave from phones and TVs, which can actually be used to surveil people. She says pretty clearly that microwaves can turn into cameras, with nary a smile on her face.
In the end, it was a proud couple of days for the office of the presidency of the United States.