President Donald Trump on Monday morning questioned why the Justice Department under President Obama launched an investigation “into the Trump campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing)” before the 2016 election and claimed the probe was “unprecedented” and “bigger than Watergate!”
“Plus Obama did NOTHING about Russian meddling,” he tweeted Monday.
Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long before the Election in November? Wanted to discredit so Crooked H would win. Unprecedented. Bigger than Watergate! Plus, Obama did NOTHING about Russian meddling.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2018
It is unclear what prompted Trump’s Monday morning tweet, but the President has increased his criticism of the Obama administration in recent weeks, ever since special counsel Robert Mueller announced indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for interfering in the 2016 election.
Former FBI Director James Comey said last year that the bureau opened its investigation into Russian meddling and whether the Trump campaign was involved in efforts to influence the election in July 2016, under the Obama administration. But Trump’s claims that the probe was part of an effort to boost Trump’s then-opponent Hillary Clinton is unfounded. The FBI was already publicly open about the fact that it was investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server to classified information when she was Secretary of State.
The current White House has previously claimed that Trump has been tougher on Russia than his predecessor and has said Obama is to blame for Russian meddling as it happened under his administration.
Obama slapped new sanctions on Russia and expelled 35 Russian diplomats for its interference in election activity in the U.S. in December 2016. Meanwhile, Trump has declined to implement new sanctions — that passed with bipartisan support in Congress — against the foreign power, with the administration claiming the threat of sanctions served as enough of a deterrent.
Trump’s tweet follows remarks from the National Security Agency director Adm. Mike Rogers last week, who said he had been given no guidance from the White House on thwarting Russian cyber threats to the 2018 election.