Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday to assert that his 2016 campaign was “conclusively” spied on by the Obama administration and said the act was “treason.” The president added that this type of situation has never been seen in the U.S. before and that those involved could face “long jail sentences.”
“My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation,” he tweeted. “TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!”
Trump has been accusing the former Obama administration of spying on him via wiretaps in the Trump Tower and other methods, though he has yet to provide any evidence of these accusations.
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy,” Trump tweeted in 2017.
Obama, the Justice Department, and the FBI have strenuously denied that any spying took place.
“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen,” an Obama spokesman said following the tweet, according to HuffPost. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Trump has admitted that he doesn’t have any evidence of spying, but calls the idea a “hunch” that he has.
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) May 17, 2019
The message comes days after Attorney General William Barr announced that he was appointing an individual to review the origins of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Barr claimed that the government was used to spy on a private U.S. citizen and that the action required an investigation. He added that he has been trying to get answers about what happened but hasn’t been sufficiently satisfied with what he has learned so far.
Barr has argued that Americans are concerned about foreign interference and government abuse of power, so his investigation is warranted to ease Americans’ minds and not to serve his boss, Donald Trump.
Democrats were angered after Barr repeated Trump’s claim that there was spying on his campaign, resulting in backlash from numerous people in the Justice Department, including former FBI Director James Comey.
According to Fox News, Barr appointed John Durham to lead the investigation. He will review the Mueller investigation with a focus on the period prior to the election to determine whether or not the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was abused in regards to Donald Trump. Barr is reportedly assisting Durham in the investigation.