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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Sunday, January 21, 2018

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Playing the blame game: Trump now accuses Obama of ‘wire tapping’ phones in Trump Tower

Alleged ties of his administration with Russia

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FLORIDA, U.S. - Over the last few days, U.S President Donald Trump and his administration, that has been gripped with controversy over alleged connections of campaign officials with the Russian government, has been making attempts to pull out of the scandal that has resurfaced. > BNN

While earlier, Trump accused Obama of provoking Town Hall protesters and leading a sabotage campaign against him - now the President has accused his predecessor of wiretapping Trump Tower during the campaign in October.

In a series of Tweets on Saturday morning, Trump said, “"Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"

Trump tried to drive eyeballs away from the multiple controversies, to the Obama administration. 

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

He went on to defend his administration by sending out a Tweet about the 22 times the Russian ambassador reportedly visited the White House. He pointed out that four of those visits were made in 2016.

Trump went on to target Obama, who left the White House in January, comparing the "scarry" wiretap to the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

He said, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"

He even said that he might look into a "good lawyer" to make a "great case" out of the wiretap.

Tweeting, “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!"

And adding, "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!"

While Trump did not provide any evidence of the alleged wiretapping, reports noted that the Twitter rant was a possible reaction to a recent report in the right-wing website Breitbart News. 

The piece by senior editor Joel Pollak elaborates on reports that the Obama administration applied for a FISA court warrant to tap Trump Tower in New York City to investigate suspected links to Russian banks.

It explores conservative radio host Mark Levin's recent claim on the Obama administration using "police tactics" to undermine Trump's campaign. 

Further, an article in the New York Times, published a day before Trump’s inauguration in January had revealed that as part of a probe of links between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies had intercepted some communications and financial transactions.

There was, however, no mention of any phone lines being tapped. 

Meantime Obama, through a spokesman, strongly denied the latest Trump claims.

"Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false," Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement.

In months before and after the election, Trump and his team’s relationship with Russia and the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. Presidential elections have been discussed widely and remain under heavy scrutiny. 

The biggest fallout of Trump’s administration so far was the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security advisor after his communications with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kisynak were exposed.

Another senior Trump administration official – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions – was also forced to recuse himself from all investigations pertaining to Russian interference in the U.S. presidential elections following reports that he met with the Russian ambassador on two occasions, which he failed to disclose during his confirmation hearing.

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