I have learned that some — though definitely not all — members of President Trump’s inner circle share his belief that the Obama administration tapped his Trump Tower phones in October. And a White House official told me President Trump not only doesn’t regret this weekend’s fracas despite the lack of evidence for his astonishing claim, he is “absolutely convinced” he’ll be vindicated.

“The president just has a great nose for these things,” the official said. “It’s the bureaucratic leaks — the deep state — that bother him most. Even if it turns out not to be true that they surveilled Trump Tower, he will have a very good point to make about the level of sabotage coming from Obama holdovers.”…

But some well-known Republicans are willing to wage the debate on Trump’s terms. One establishment grandee asked in an email: Did Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch “approve this??? That is the big Q” — skipping over whether “this” is real.

A Democratic theory is that if Trump believes problematic transcripts of recorded calls with Russians may dribble or gush out, why not discredit them in advance as a political dirty trick? Then when they emerge, you can say “Aha!” rather than being on the defensive.