Trump accused Obama of undermining his administration
Trump's administration has been beset by leaks within his administration to the media
President Donald Trump said he believes former President Barack Obama has been behind the leaks within his administration and the sizable, angry town hall crowds Republicans have faced across the country.
Trump was asked in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” if he believed Obama was responsible for the town hall protests against Republicans this month.
“It turns out his organization seems to do a lot of these organizing to some of the protests that these Republicans are seeing around the country against you. Do you believe President Obama is behind it and if he is, is that a violation of the so-called unsaid presidents’ code?” Trump was asked.
“No, I think he is behind it. I also think it is politics, that’s the way it is,” Trump replied.
Trump then discussed the leaks that have disrupted his first month in office.
“You never know what’s exactly happening behind the scenes. You know, you’re probably right or possibly right, but you never know,” Trump said in the interview, a clip of which was released Monday night. “No, I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it. And some of the leaks possibly come from that group, which are really serious because they are very bad in terms of national security. But I also understand that is politics. In terms of him being behind things, that’s politics. And it will probably continue.”
Trump did not offer any evidence for his claim in the clip released by Fox Monday night. CNN has reached out to Obama’s office for comment.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to expand Tuesday on Trump’s claim that Obama was behind the protests, telling reporters that she would let the comments stand by themselves.
When asked if the White House believes Obama is behind the protests, Sanders added, “I think the bottom line here is we all have condemned the protests. I think that is the bigger story here, and the focus we should be talking about that this isn’t something that helps and moves us forward and that is what we are focused on right now.”
A broad coalition of groups, including Organizing For Action, the SEIU, MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress have been working to help with grassroots organizing around GOP town halls.
Organizing for Action, the group formed from Obama’s campaign organization, has 14 professional organizers, for example, who are involved in teaching local activists skills to effectively vocalize opposition to the GOP’s top agenda items.
Earlier this month, Trump told Fox News that reports of his calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were caused by leaks from “Obama people.”
Trump’s administration has been beset by leaks within his administration to the media, and he has continually railed against those doing the leaking and the media since taking office. He has said the leaks are damaging to national security.
Approval ratings for the President’s job performance have been at historic lows. A recent Quinnipiac University survey found that 55% of American voters disapprove of Trump’s performance.
But the President said he would give himself an “A” in achievement but in messaging a “C or C plus.”
“In terms of messaging, I would give myself a C or a C plus,” Trump said. “In terms of achievement I think I’d give myself an A. Because I’ve done great things, but I don’t think we’ve explained it well enough to the American people.”
The President also gave himself an “A” for “effort.”
CNN’s Eugene Scott and Dan Merica contributed to this story.