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Trump says Obama is behind protests and leaks

Angry constituents have been protesting at Republican town hall-style meetings.

Trump Supreme Court Source: Evan Vucci

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK Obama is one of the figures behind protests taking place at town hall meetings being held by Republicans, President Donald Trump has claimed.

The US President was asked in an interview on Fox News whether he believed the Democrat was responsible for the protests that have been taking place at local meetings.

  • Fox and Friends host: “It turns out his organisation seems to do a lot of these organising 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: ”No, I think he is behind it. I also think it is politics, that’s the way it is.”

He also said he thought Obama was behind a series of damaging leaks to media outlets in the weeks since the start of his administration.

Asked about the leaks, he said:

“You never know what’s exactly happening behind the scenes. You know, you’re probably right or possibly right, but you never know.

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.

A broad coalition of left-leaning groups, including the likes of MoveOn.org, have been responsible for organising protests at GOP town halls.

Most of the protests centre on Republican plans to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare – but at one meeting in Arkansas, a seven-year-old boy took Republican Senator Tom Cotton to task about Trump’s proposed border wall.

Source: CNN/YouTube

Trump has repeatedly attacked the media in recent weeks – describing networks like NBC and CNN, along with the New York Times – as the “enemy of the American People”.

He stepped up the attacks in the wake of the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, who quit over revelations about potentially illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US and his misleading statements about that contact to the Vice President.

Flynn’s resignation followed reports in the Washington Post that the Justice Department had warned the White House that Flynn had left himself vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow as a result of his mischaracterisation of his contact with the diplomat.

In a spikey, rambling press conference the same week, Trump took the media to task, openly bickering with journalists and at one point stating that the leaks were real but the news was fake.

He said:

The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.

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Later today, Trump is set to give his his maiden speech to Congress.

Aides said his prime time, State Of The Union-style address would tilt the focus back toward the type of bread and butter issues that helped win him the presidency.

Trump’s focus will be “solving real problems for real people” said a senior administration official, previewing an address centred on “economic opportunity”.

His full interview with Fox and Friends will also air today. A clip was released last night.

Read: George W Bush isn’t impressed with Trump’s criticism of the media >

Read: Sean Spicer’s denials left looking thin as Trump’s choice for top Navy job steps aside >

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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