Under fire from Justice Department and congressional investigations, President Trump on Monday attempted to deflect suspicion of collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice onto his predecessor.
In a string of tweets, Trump said it was former President Obama who "colluded or obstructed" for not taking more decisive action against Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
"The reason that President Obama did NOTHING about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling is that he expected Clinton would win. …and did not want to 'rock the boat.' He didn't 'choke,' he colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good."
Trump was likely responding to a Washington Post report, published Friday, detailing the Obama administration's response to Russia's interference in the election. That account portrayed Obama as reluctant to retaliate decisively for fear of appearing to favor Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton. Trump, contending Obama "colluded or obstructed," appeared to suggest Obama purposefully declined to act.
"The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling. With 4 months looking at Russia… ..under a magnifying glass, they have zero 'tapes' of T people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!"
It was not immediately clear who Trump believes owes him an apology.
Trump's assertion that Obama "did NOTHING" ignores a White House statement October 7 accusing the Kremlin of orchestrating the email hacks of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. That statement was largely ignored, however, as it landed the same day as the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, in which then-candidate Trump gloating about groping women without their consent.
Monday marked the second occasion in recent days that Trump explicitly sought to connect Obama to the Kremlin's election interference. Friday, Trump tweeted, "Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?"
He later added, "Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T!" and, "Obama Administration official said they 'choked' when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn't want to hurt Hillary?