Trump Accuses Obama Of 'Tapping' His Phone
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump has accused Barack Obama of "tapping" his phone during last year's White House campaign, without providing evidence of the explosive charge, in his most virulent attack yet on his predecessor.
"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!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
He was referring to Senator Joe McCarthy's campaign in the 1950s to root out alleged communists and sympathisers, which was marked by improper investigative techniques
Likening the alleged tapping to the political scandal that toppled then President Richard Nixon in 1974, Trump tweeted:
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
A spokesman for Obama did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Trump levelled the charges in a flurry of tweets shortly after dawn, as his administration remains mired in controversy over communications between Russian officials and some of his senior aides, including Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.
Trump and Obama frequently traded barbs on the campaign trail, and the Republican real estate magnate was a driving force behind the so-called "birther" movement that questioned whether Obama was born on US soil and eligible to be president.
The two men initially adopted a cordial tone as Trump took office, though the president has stepped up accusations against Obama in recent weeks, blaming his predecessor for being behind damaging leaks to journalists.
Since US intelligence took the unprecedented step of publicly accusing Russia of trying to swing the November election in Trump's favour, questions have swirled about whether some in Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow.
A slew of associates, including Sessions and already fired national security advisor Michael Flynn met Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office.
The businessman-turned-politician has accused his political foes of conducting "a total witch hunt" and repeatedly denied having any personal ties to the Kremlin.
But the accusations have continued amid almost daily leaks revealing new details about connections between Moscow and senior Trump officials.
One such revelation in the Washington Post about a meeting between Sessions and Kislyak prompted the Republican former US senator to recuse himself from any investigations into the presidential election campaign.
Sessions had told a Senate committee under oath that he "did not have communications with the Russians," but reporters found that he had actually met the Russian ambassador twice in the months before taking up his post as attorney general, the top US law enforcement officer.
Trump has expressed his displeasure over the charges and the leaks that led to them. On Friday he lashed out in tweets directed at the top Democrats in the Republican-led Congress, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi.