Former Bush attorney general weighs in on President Trump's wiretap claims

Former George W. Bush attorney general Michael Mukasey is interviewed on "This Week."
3:59 | 03/05/17

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Transcript for Former Bush attorney general weighs in on President Trump's wiretap claims
We want to put this together now with Michael mukasey. He was former attorney general under George W. Bush and knows the federal wiretap laws and the courts inside and out. Now we have the president himself saying he was the target of surveillance. Ordered up by his predecessor. Thank you for joining us, Mr. Mukasey. Your reaction to the tweets and the explanation from the white house? I don't do tweets. You heard about them. I don't do tweets. It's not the' deal medium. This is the difference between being correct and right. The president was not correct in saying president Obama ordered a tap on a server in trump tower. However, think he's right in that there was sur say Lance. And that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney -- of the squis tis department through the FISA. What do you base that on? On news reports that you mentioned in the last -- I also base it on kind of inadvertent blurting out by Adam Schiff that his committee wants to talk to the counterintelligence agency at the FBI involved in this. That means this is part not of a criminal investigation, but of an sbel against-gathering investigation. The fbinvestigates crimes and gathers intelligence. They started gathering intelligence in '08 based on DI guidelines we put in place. They tried to get a wiretap in June. It was turned down. They tried to get, and got, an order permitting them to conduct electronic surveillance. In October. October 2016. So that's when, apparently, that's when -- You're basing this on news reports as well. And on, and on, Adam Schiff. If a wiretap did exist, it would have to have been approved bay FISA court based on real evidence. If there was a wiretap, does that mean there were suspicious things going on? It mean there were some basis to believe that somebody in trump tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians, for whatever purpose. Not necessarily the election. For some purpose. The FBI keeps track of people who act as agents of foreign governments. Some of the evidence may have been gleaned from classified means. Is there any way to verify the claims in the press or trump's claims so the American people can really understand what's going on here? Um, the only way to verify, um, whether there was a -- electronic surveillance is to disclose the warrant and the fruits of it. That should not be done even in a political storm as hot as this one. Given all these accusations, and you're aware of the tweets president trump put out. They were pretty definitive, shouldn't they want a special inquiry to look into this? There's nothing to prosecute. The only crime I have seen was committed by the Russians when they hacked the DNC, John podes podesta, and they tried to hack the Republican national committee. That's the only crime I'm aware of. The question is why was it commit snd some people say to promote the election of Donald Trump. I happen to think that is ridiculous. You would have to believe Vladimir Putin was an idiot to try to back a sure leerz. More he was trying to intimidate a clear winner. Thank you very much. Great to see you. Just ahead, the senator who started the chain reaction.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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