Desperate times bring desperate versions of “-gate” memes. Yesterday Trump refused to articulate what he thought Obamagate might be, because he knew it was stupid. Obstruction of justice continues in the Trump regime. Anything to distract from the financial records cases before SCOTUS.
Ã¢ÂÂ Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) May 12, 2020
On Saturday, Trump retweeted a fantastical fiction of a theory from The Federalist asserting that former President Barack Obama's White House intelligence discussions about, in part, the trustworthiness of incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn and members of the Trump transition team were proof that Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden were malevolently conspiring against the Trump administration.
Trump later retweeted a Fox News legal analyst's opinion that without Flynn, the entire Russia investigation is meaningless and perhaps should be thrown out, as well. Those cues are only the latest of a multitude of similar warnings that point to where the president and the attorney general may be venturing next.
Trump is clearly still sensitive about the 2016 election, and especially about concerns that he may not have beaten former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fairly. He therefore has a special interest in undermining accusations of Russian meddling, something he has done since entering the Oval Office. What better way to do this than to flip the script? He didn't have an advantage; in fact, he was the victim.
As other commentators have pointed out, attempting this bait and switch would likely involve efforts to censure, discipline or even criminally charge current and former government officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan, fired FBI Director James Comey, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper and perhaps even Obama and Biden. During his Monday news conference in the Rose Garden, a reporter asked Trump what crime he might accuse Obama of committing. Trump responded: “Obamagate, it's been going on for a long time. It's been going on from before I got elected, and it's a disgrace that it happened. You look at, now, all of this information that's being released, and from what I understand, that's only the beginning.”
According to an anonymous data scientist on Twitter, the #Obamagate hashtag was promoted by midsize right-wing influencers such as @AKA_RealDirty and the QAnon-affiliated @SheepKnowMore and started to trend after it was amplified by Brazilian former Olympic volleyball player Ana Paula Henkel…
When Trump alleges an unspecified “crime” committed by Obama, this incident came to mind.
Someone definitely got mugged here, but it's probably not a crime. pic.twitter.com/BXbdLBatX1
Ã¢ÂÂ Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) May 12, 2020
The Obamagate controversy refers to several scandals during President Barack Obama tenure, notably the misuse of government agencies, media manipulation, illegal wiretaping, and domestic spying on American citizens to harass political opponents and critics. By the election year of 2016, Obama officials vastly expanded the use of the foreign intelligence gathering apparatus as a weapon against domestic political opponents. In 2013, there were 9,600 FISA search queries involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.
ThereÃ¢ÂÂs a tweet for everything, right Jay? https://t.co/hpFFWoeQEp
Ã¢ÂÂ Melissa Jo Peltier (@MelissaJPeltier) May 12, 2020
Been a little over a year since the Mueller report was released and we first saw what Barr was willing to do. Since then the lawlessness at DOJ has accelerated, and now almost nothing seems unthinkable. https://t.co/40MY1v4Iav
Ã¢ÂÂ Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) May 11, 2020