Barack Obama is staying in Washington, D.C, to run a secret “shadow government” and attempt the overthrow of Donald Trump and the GOP, one Republican congressman is claiming.
Mike Kelly, a congressman from Pennsylvania, was captured on video at a dinner claiming that the former president is trying to undermine the new GOP regime. In a clip posted to YouTube, Kelly claimed that Obama was remaining in Washington for “one purpose only… to run the shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda.”
The clip was uncovered by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and coincides with a narrative from right-wing media that Obama is secretly trying to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency or even push for his impeachment. These outlets — along with supporters of Donald Trump — have claimed that Obama is running a secret “deep state” government that includes forces deep within the federal bureaucracy.
For his part, Mike Kelly appeared to walk back the claim that Barack Obama is running a secret government to subvert Trump and the GOP, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted.
“Mr. Kelly’s spokesman said Friday that the congressman was just ‘sharing the frustration of everyone in the room over how they believe certain Obama administration holdovers’ are trying to upset President Donald Trump’s agenda. The spokesman also said Mr. Kelly ‘delivered his remarks at a private meeting to an audience of fellow Republicans,’ and that he supported the Obamas’ decision to remain in Washington.”
Donald Trump himself appears to subscribe to the theory that Barack Obama is operating a “deep state” government aimed at taking down the president. This week, he tweeted an accusation that Obama illegally wiretapped Trump Tower to spy on Trump during the 2016 campaign, a charge that Trump has refused to back up with any sort of facts.
The “deep state” appears to be the official White House policy as well. When White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama is running a secret coup, he did not reject the idea.
“I think that there’s no question when you have eight years of one party in office, there are people who stay in government — and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration,” Spicer said, via CNN.
“So I don’t think it should come as any surprise there are people that burrowed into government during eight years of the last administration and may have believed in that agenda and may continue to seek it,” he added. “I don’t think that should come as a surprise.”
As Duke professor Timur Kuran told Rolling Stone, the idea of an insurgent “deep state” is common among authoritarian regimes and a concept popular in Turkey under President Erdogan.
“A deep state involves more than an array of vested interests,” Kuran tells Rolling Stone. “It involves vested interests that are coordinated by a powerful agent and that obey a hierarchy. In many autocracies, the dictator often blames failures on a deep state ostensibly commanded by an enemy of the legitimate state. Often the perceived enemy is a foreign agent, such as the CIA.”
But the idea that Barack Obama is staying in Washington to operate a “deep state” government and undermine Trump is being met with widespread ridicule, even in conservative circles. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, a mainstay on Fox News, said the idea is ridiculous and compared it to “the tooth fairy, the Knights Templar, Bilderberg, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” Rolling Stone noted.
For his part, Barack Obama has an explanation for why he’s staying in Washington, D.C., after his presidency — and it’s not to overthrow Donald Trump. The family has said they are staying until their youngest daughter, Sasha, can finish high school.
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