In Blatant Attempt to Distract from His Growing Russia Scandal, Trump Accuses Obama of Bugging Trump Tower

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President Donald Trump claimed former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower.

The one-sided feud between President Donald Trump and ex-POTUS Barack Obama reached a new low on Saturday, March 4, after Trump, without evidence, accused Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election.

Likening the so-called scandal to the Nixon/Watergate plot of the 1970s, Trump suggested that a good lawyer bring federal charges against the former president for his alleged actions.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory,” the contested president tweeted from his personal Twitter account. “Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

Trump continued his tirade in a series of tweets on Saturday, launching a number of unproven claims against Obama, who left the White House less than two months ago. The real estate tycoon-turned-politician maintained that the former president interfered with the “sacred” election process, labeling him a “bad (or sick) guy!”

While the president didn’t provide any evidence whatsoever to back up his claims, the accusations came after alt-right website Breitbart News published a story on Friday, March 3, detailing actions supposedly taken by the Obama administration to surveil Trump and undermine efforts of the Republican’s campaign, according to Bloomberg news.

Critics of the newly elected president saw his seemingly unprovoked attack against Obama as a tactic to divert attention from several damaging reports that members of his administration had communicated with Russian officials during the 2016 election. Just last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from further investigations into alleged contact between Russia and the Trump campaign after it was revealed that Sessions himself had met with a Russian official on two occasions.

A spokesman for former President Obama called Trump’s claims “simply false.”

“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

Ben Rhodes, Obama’s former deputy national security adviser, also refuted Trump’s claims, tweeting, “No President can order a wiretap.”

“Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,” Rhodes added, later noting that the president should be in full support of federal inquiries into his alleged communication with Russia if he’s so sure that Obama wiretapped him.

In January, The New York Times reported that U.S. intelligence officials were examining a number of intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a larger investigation into possible ties between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. The newspaper pointed out, however, that electronic surveillance during such an investigation would require a court-approved warrant.

“The notion that you get a call from the president who says start intercepting calls on this phone … is frankly ridiculous,” said former assistant FBI director Ron Hosko. “It doesn’t work like that. There’s no magic wand in the hand of Barack Obama to order the FBI to go flip a switch and start collecting on a political opponent.”

The White House has since asked Congress to investigate Trump’s wiretapping claims, despite having no evidence to prove such a thing happened.

FBI Director James Comey on Sunday, March 5, pushed back against the president’s claims and asked that the Justice Department reject Trump’s bogus accusations. The department itself hasn’t issued a statement on the matter, but Comey argued that the president’s bold assertions were false and needed to be corrected.

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