‘This is McCarthyism!’ Trump accuses Obama of wire tapping Trump Tower before election win
US President Donald Trump has accused his predecessor Barack Obama of “wire tapping” Trump Tower just before his election win in November, according to his latest tweet.
Trump made the accusation in a tweet decrying the alleged surveillance as “McCarthyism.”
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 4 March 2017
Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis denied Trump’s allegation, according to Reuters, saying: "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."
“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen," Lewis added. "Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
The US president has not provided any further details on the alleged ‘wire tapping’ or how he was informed about the reported activity. However, Trump indicated in a subsequent tweet that legal action on the issue is a possibility.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Obama's office did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment about the accusations.
Former Deputy National Security Adviser for Obama Ben Rhodes responded to the tweets by dismissing Trump's accusation, saying on Twitter that "no president can order a wiretap."
No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you. https://t.co/lEVscjkzSw— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) March 4, 2017
Obama admin 'set up first Sessions-Russia meeting'
In an earlier tweet sent by the president Saturday morning, Trump addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been accused by US media of failing to disclose during his confirmation hearing meetings with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
Sessions has denied any wrongdoing in meeting with the Russian ambassador, saying this was unrelated to the presidential campaign, and has recused himself from any investigations into the Trump campaign.
On Saturday, Trump blamed the Obama administration for the “first meeting” between Sessions and the Russian ambassador.
The first meeting Jeff Sessions had with the Russian Amb was set up by the Obama Administration under education program for 100 Ambs......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Trump then went on to state that Kislyak visited the White House during Obama’s reign a total of 22 times, including four last year.
Just out: The same Russian Ambassador that met Jeff Sessions visited the Obama White House 22 times, and 4 times last year alone.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned from office last month after he allegedly failed to disclose the entirety of his conversation with Kislyak to US Vice President Mike Pence.