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Donald Trump

‘Obama tapped my phone’: Donald Trump accuses predecessor of ‘new low’ before election

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 March, 2017, 8:29pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 March, 2017, 10:01pm

US President Donald Trump has accused Barack Obama of “wire tapping” his offices in New York City before the presidential election in November last year, claiming the former president had overseen a “Nixon/Watergate”-style intervention.

Launching a series of tweets at 5.35am eastern time on Saturday morning, the US president said: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

He followed up that initial tweet with a string of others in the following 30 minutes that claimed Obama had defied a court rejection to tap his office, and invited a “good lawyer” to make a case against the alleged process.The president then compared the alleged surveillance of his communications to Watergate – the scandal in the early 1970s that brought down Republican president Richard Nixon after he ordered a break-in of the Democrats’ Washington headquarters.

Trump also made efforts to defend Jeff Sessions, the US attorney general facing questions over his meeting with the Russian ambassador to Washington during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

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...” .

He added: “Just out: The same Russian Ambassador that met Jeff Sessions visited the Obama White House 22 times, and 4 times last year alone.”

There was no additional information provided to substantiate the president’s claims that Obama had “wire tapped” Trump Tower, and it was not clear on what information Trump was basing the allegations.

Spy, diplomat or both? Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak is at centre of Trump controversy

The Trump administration has been on the back foot over its contacts with Russian officials before the president took office in January.

Last month the national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign over conversations with the Russian ambassador to Washington and misleading statements about them to the press and the vice-president, Mike Pence.

This week it was revealed that Sessions had two meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, last year that he failed to disclose to senators in his confirmation hearing.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse