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Trump accuses Obama of ‘wire tapping’ Trump Tower phones

Trump greets former President Barack Obama during the presidential inauguration. | Getty

Battling allegations of ties between his campaign and Russia officials, Trump tries to turn scrutiny to Obama without citing any evidence.

Updated

President Donald Trump, under siege for alleged ties between his campaign and Russia, on Saturday morning sought to deflect attention by accusing former president Barack Obama of tapping his Trump Tower phones prior to the election.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump tweeted, as part of a six-tweet screed.

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He went on to ask, “Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!”

“I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!” Trump continued, also tweeting, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

Obama’s team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It was not immediately clear what specifically prompted the accusations, but conservative radio host Mark Levin on Thursday evening tried to make a case for the idea that Obama used “police state” tactics to undermine Trump in the last months of his presidential campaign.

Levin’s argument was then picked up by Breitbart in an article published by senior editor Joel Pollak.

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It appears that the crux of the argument comes from reporting that U.S. officials secretly monitored a computer server in Trump Tower to determine if there were links to Russian banks. A New York Times article published on Jan. 19 – just one day before Trump’s inauguration – reported that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies had intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a probe of links between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

There has been no definitive reporting, however, that any phone lines belonging to the Trump campaign were tapped.

Trump and his team have been dogged by allegations of communications between his campaign and Russian intelligence officials that occurred as Russians were allegedly attempting to tilt the election in Trump’s favor by hacking Democratic targets.

The scandal flared up this week when it was revealed that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador twice last year despite telling senators during his confirmation hearing that he had no communication with the Russians during the campaign. Sessions was a key adviser to Trump’s campaign.

On Saturday morning, Trump attempted to turn the scrutiny to the Obama administration.

“The first meeting Jeff Sessions had with the Russian Amb was set up by the Obama Administration under education program for 100 Ambs……” Trump tweeted, adding, “Just out: The same Russian Ambassador that met Jeff Sessions visited the Obama White House 22 times, and 4 times last year alone.”

Trump’s aggressive accusations comes as his team has tried to battle numerous leaks regarding law enforcement and intelligence agency investigations into not only allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election but also potential ties between his campaign and the Kremlin.

Trump has denied that his people were in regular contact with Russian officials, but the controversy has spawned multiple congressional investigations and has fueled calls for a special prosecutor.

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Source: POLITICO – TOP Stories

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