In an interview with Fox News, airing on 28 February US President Donald Trump blames his predecessor President Barack Obama for a series of intelligence leaks and protests that have marked the early weeks of his administration.
"I think he is behind it. I also think it's politics, that's the way it is. I think that President Obama is behind it, because his people are certainly behind it," Trump told the show Fox & Friends in a pre-recorded interview set to air at 6 am EST/11 am GMT.
Trump's comments came in response to a question about whether Obama is behind a series of protests against the president's policies. In his presidency's first month, Trump faced the Women's March – a day after his inauguration, drawing in similar numbers to the anti–Vietnam War protests in the 1960s and 1970s – as well as airport protests following the travel ban which barred people entering the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.
GOP lawmakers have also faced angry crowds at town halls over plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act – known as Obamacare – in the past week.
A group called Organizing for Action (OFA) which was active during Obama's first presidential campaign, and manned by many former White House staffers, is featured prominently on Obama's official website. The group appears there alongside the Obama Foundation. The OFA was involved in organising Women's March events and is rallying to protect the Affordable Care Act. But there is no evidence that the foundation is somehow behind the hundreds of political actions against Trump that have taken place in the past month.
"You never know what's exactly happening behind the scenes," Trump said when Fox's host mentioned that George HW Bush never went after Bill Clinton publicly after losing the presidency to him in the 1992 election.
"Some of the leaks possibly come from" those who served in the intelligence agencies, as White House staff, or in the civil service under Obama, Trump indicated.
Nevertheless, there is little evidence on how a series of leaks from anonymous sources – containing inside information about the White House – and intelligence data from onongoing investigations into Trump election campaign's ties to Russia have come from.
The leaks have revealed that Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about the content of phone calls he made to Russia's ambassador to the US, as well as other details about ongoing investigations led by the FBI and US intelligence agencies on Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 US election.
The leaks "are really very serious leaks, because they're very bad in terms of national security," Trump told Fox, adding "in terms of [Obama] being behind things, that's politics, and it will probably continue."