President Donald Trump has accused former President Obama of using the power of his office to tap Trump's phones and investigate the Republican candidate right before the election.
Trump tweeted the shocking accusation early Saturday morning in a flurry of social media messages:
President Trump flipped the script about the Obama investigation into the Republican’s alleged Russian ties.
Trump’s tweets indicated that he was clearly angry at the prospect of a sitting president possibly abusing his authority in order to spy on an opposing party’s candidate:
The BBC reports that the FBI asked the foreign intelligence surveillance (FISA) court for a warrant to tap Trump’s phones and was turned down at first:
Media reports in the last few weeks have suggested the FBI had sought a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance court (Fisa) last summer in order to monitor members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials.
The warrant was first turned down but then approved in October, according to the media reports.
The BBC also reported that Obama’s investigation of Trump used several governmental agencies:
BBC and then McClatchy revealed the existence of a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government.
Democrats were angered by what they considered to be Russian-tied hacks into the Hillary Clinton election chair John Podesta’s and the DNC’s email systems. The revelations included the DNC working for Clinton and against Bernie Sanders, slams on Catholics, emails that accused President Obama of voter fraud in 2008, and Clinton’s apparent illegal ties to a super PAC.
In January, The New York Times reported the existence of the probe — including wiretaps — in order to figure out if Trump’s associates had any untoward ties with Russia:
The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.
Trump supporters, including Paul Manafort and General Mike Flynn, left the campaign as a result of the investigation. Now, Democrats have turned their sights on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his two unreported ‘meetings' with the Russian ambassador.
Trump tweeted early Saturday morning that he believes the Obama probe was illegal:
Trump likened Obama’s investigation to that of Watergate and Nixon:
President Obama’s executive branch made some eyebrow-raising moves in the past.
The Obama IRS slow-rolled Tea Party non-profit applications leading up to his 2012 election, and conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was imprisoned for an illegal campaign donation to a college friend’s campaign.
Conservative radio talk show host and constitutional lawyer Mark Levin says that the Obama administration investigation is a “police state” tactic:
"There's a much bigger scandal here: We have a prior administration. Barack Obama and his surrogates, who are supporting Hillary Clinton and her party, the Democratic Party. Who were using the... intelligence activities to surveil members of the Trump campaign, and to put that information out in the public. Those are police state tactics. Nothing Flynn or Sessions has done is even in the same category as that.
...[T]he FBI did a preliminary criminal investigation based on a potential connection between a server in Trump Tower and a couple of Russian banks. That turned out to be a dry hole, but one of the most outrageous things I've ever seen... totally uncovered by the media. Instead of closing the investigation, the Obama administration tried to turn it into a FISA court investigation in June . Apparently the first application they submitted named Trump."
Politico reports that there’s been no “definitive reporting ... that any phone lines belonging to the Trump campaign were tapped.”