Over the weekend, President Trump took to Twitter and accused Barack Obama of placing a wiretap on his phones during his 2016 campaign, which many have described as a “deep state” conspiracy. These allegations, reminiscent of a “Nixon/Watergate” plot, confused members of the Congress, as well as intelligence analysts, and began a media frenzy.
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
TheWashington Post reported that President Trump has been given full credit for “cracking open a plot by a ‘deep state’ of critics and conspirators to bring down his presidency,” and he named the perpetrator, and foe, as none other than the former president, Barack Obama.
The allegations made by President Trump against the former president Barack Obama included the tapping of his phone, as well as proclaiming that “the bureaucracy is leaking secrets to discredit him.” These are the latest of several signs that President Trump is preoccupied with notions of a deep state conspiracy, one that is working to obstruct the Trump administration.
Is it true the DNC would not allow the FBI access to check server or other equipment after learning it was hacked? Can that be possible?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2017
FBI Director James Comey requested that the Justice Department issue a statement to refute President Trump’s charges, but the department has yet to do so. A spokesman for Barack Obama has denied that any White House official, including former president Obama, requested surveillance of a citizen of the United States. In regards to the investigation into the “deep state” effort, Republican Trey Gowdy said the following in an interview on Monday.
“The good news is there’s a paper trail, there’s a warrant, there’s an application, there’s judicial review. Right now the Justice Department is not controlled by President Obama. It’s controlled by Jeff Sessions.”
A “deep state” is a network of military or agency officials who conspire covertly to influence the policies of a government. Generally speaking, the term “deep state” is used to describe countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, or Turkey. The authoritarian elements of these countries unite in an effort to undermine elected leaders. The phrase is rarely used within the United States. However, President Trump and the members of his administration see the forces of influence at work, and are arguing that they are being undermined from within their own government.
In an article regarding the deep state conspiracy, the New York Times stated that “it is an extraordinary contention for a sitting president to make.” Just last year, President Trump dismissed the theory that Russia was involved in the presidential election. Now, he is asking for an investigation of “Moscow’s influence on the election to turn up evidence that Barack Obama led an effort to spy on him.”
Conservative writer Joel Pollak followed up with Trump’s theory by suggesting that “it would seem the ‘Russian hacking’ story was concocted not just to explain away an embarrassing election defeat, but to cover up the real scandal.” The media reports of Russian hacking, according to Pollak, covered up the involvement of Trump’s named foe, Barack Obama, in a deep state conspiracy. Rush Limbaugh spoke of the deep state conspiracy on Monday.
“Trump confounds these people because he’s always a step or two ahead. It’s a direct line to the Democrat Party and Obama and members of the Obama administration that Trump is signaling. You don’t face the usual feckless bunch of opponents who never fight you back.”
The story of conspiracy was building long before Trump tweeted about it. Obama spoke to the members of his campaign group, Organizing for Action (OFA), one week after the election of President Trump. According to a transcript that was published by the White House, Obama rekindled the group with a new direction.
“Now is the time for some organizing. An election just finished, so it’s not going to be straight political organizing, but it is going to be raising awareness. It’s going to be the work you’re doing in nonprofits and advocacy and community-building. Over time, what’s going to happen is that you will reinvigorate and inform our politics in ways that we can’t anticipate.”
Since Obama spoke with the group, OFA has helped to organize and promote both protests and Town Hall meetings that are designed to pressure Republican members of Congress. The Washington Post reported that, on February 18, columnist Paul Sperry from the New York Post “tied together what was publicly known to pin the protests on Obama and OFA.”
“They’re training an army of agitators to sabotage Trump and his policies while at the same time protecting Obama’s legacy, like Obamacare and the dreamers. OFA is listed prominently on Obama’s new web site, OFA, Organizing for Action.”
The rapidly growing theory that Obama has placed operatives within the government to undermine Trump’s presidency has prompted President Trump to take action and ask for an investigation.
The Republicans in Congress have suggested that the conservative news media reports on wiretapping, in combination with the rapidly growing “deep state” conspiracy theory, may have prompted Trump to take action without any real proof. Members of the Congress have, however, paired their critique with a promise to fully investigate his claims.
Do you believe that former president Barack Obama is working to undermine the Trump administration in a “deep state conspiracy,” or is he simply helping Americans fulfill their constitutional freedom of assembly? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Pool/Getty Images]