President Donald Trump on Saturday morning accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping phones in New York City’s Trump Tower before the November election.
In a series of tweets, Trump offered absolutely no evidence for the accusations in which he compared Obama to President Richard Nixon:
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
“No president can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,” fired back former Obama advisor Ben Rhodes on Twitter.
And Trump himself has garnered many comparisons to Nixon for the president’s failure to divest from his businesses, his administration’s attempts to use government agencies to protect its own interests, and his right-wing campaign rhetoric.
“I don’t think Richard Nixon even comes close to the level of corruption we already know about Trump,” commented former White House lawyer John Dean, who worked for Nixon, to the Atlantic earlier this year.
Many observers hypothesized that Trump’s tweets are an attempt to divert media attention away from the scandal swirling around Attorney General Jeff Session’s alleged perjury over his communications with a Russian official. The Guardian further notes that similar conspiracy theories about Obama were published in recent days on the far-right outlet Breitbart News.
Thirty minutes after making the allegations against Obama, Trump switched gears to complain about The Apprentice:
Imagine if u honestly uncovered a Watergate-level scandal abt yr own presidency, but then 30 min later got bored & started tweeting about TV pic.twitter.com/YBhcbLJfcS
— David Grossman (@davidgross_man) March 4, 2017
According to the New York Times, the president tweeted the accusations while vacationing at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.