President Trump said in an exclusive interview Tuesday that he believes former President Barack Obama and his top aides are behind the protests and leaks that have tormented the new administration — and he doesn’t expect it to stop anytime soon.
Trump, during an interview with “Fox & Friends,” blamed Obama acolytes and the ex-president himself for the organized demonstrations that have sprung up nationwide since the Nov. 8 election, and also for the politically embarrassing leaks that have hindered Trump’s messaging.
“I think that President Obama’s behind it because his people are certainly behind it,” Trump said. “And some of the leaks possibly come from that group, you know, some of the leaks — which are very serious leaks, because they’re very bad in terms of national security.”
Trump didn’t provide evidence to support the charge.
He certainly is not alone, though, in his view that top Obama administration officials could be involved. A former senior intelligence official told Fox News earlier this month that he suspects ex-CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper — among others — were connected to leaks.
Some of those officials have pushed back. A Clapper spokesman, in a recent statement, appeared to distance the former intel boss from any leaks, voicing support for a probe while urging the new administration to take a sober approach to the investigation.
“Leaks need to be investigated, but those investigations should be conducted in a manner that is not disparaging of our dedicated IC professionals, nor destructive to the entire community,” spokesman Shawn Turner said.
Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser, also denied any involvement in leaks in an email to The Atlantic.
“It’s totally absurd and doesn’t make any sense,” he wrote.
But the assertion that Obama — who began his political career as a community organizer — is actively aiding protests against Trump is new. Though, Trump added, it doesn’t necessarily bother him.
“But I also understand that’s politics,” Trump said. “And in terms of him being behind things, that’s politics. And it will probably continue.”
He added: “I’m not really surprised because I understand the way the world works. It’s politics. I mean I’m changing things that he’s wanted to do.”