U.S. President Donald Trump has accused his predecessor Barack Obama of orchestrating a campaign of leaks and protests to undermine his administration — but failed to provide any evidence for his claims.
In an interview with Fox News’ Fox and Friends show, which aired Tuesday morning, Trump accused Obama and his “people” of organizing the waves of protest which have come to symbolize the first month of his administration. He also claimed they were behind the unprecedented leaking of classified information to the media, which the president has strongly criticized in recent weeks.
Fox News presenter Brian Kilmeade asked Trump if he believed that Obama was behind the protests that have seen millions of people take to the streets to oppose many of Trump’s policies — including those that took place at town hall meetings last week:
“I think he is behind it,” Trump responded. “I also think it’s just politics. That’s just the way it is.”
As well as angry scenes at town halls last week, there have been widespread protests at airports opposing Trump’s travel ban, as well as the huge Women’s Marches that took place across the world just one day after Trump’s inauguration.
Kilmeade referred to the Organizing for Action group, which is committed to advocating for Obama’s agenda. It is described on its website as “a non-partisan, issue advocacy organization committed to growing the grassroots movement by training, educating, and activating civically engaged community members across the country.”
The group’s website does include a link to the Town Hall Project, which is a separate, open-source group which encourages citizens to attend town hall meetings, and it compiles a list of such events events organized by both Republican and Democrat lawmakers. There is no indication that Obama has any link to the Town Hall Project or any direct involvement with Organizing for Action.
“I think that President Obama is probably behind it because his people are certainly behind it,” Trump said. “In terms of him being behind things, that’s politics and it will probably continue.”
Regarding the leaking of classified information, Trump also accused Organizing for Action of orchestrating this campaign. “Some of the leaks possibly come from that group,” Trump said. “You know, some of the leaks — which are really very serious leaks because they’re very bad in terms of national security — but I also understand that’s politics and it will probably continue.”
Last month, Obama took the rather unique step of criticizing his successor’s travel ban, saying he “fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
Trump’s attack on Obama comes a day after another former President, George W. Bush, criticized Trump for his attacks on the media. “We need an independent media to hold people like me to account,” Bush said. “I considered the media to be indispensable to democracy. Power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive.”