President Donald Trump has long claimed that his 2016 campaign had been unlawfully spied on, accusing various political opponents of treason.
In a new book by author Doug Wead, Inside Trump's White House: The Real Story of His Presidency, the president is quoted as saying the following.
"What they did was treasonous, OK? It was treasonous."During his conversations with Wead, Trump explained that he believes his opponents were "caught" spying on his campaign.
"The interesting thing out of all of this is that we caught them spying on the election. They were spying on my campaign. So you know? What is that all about?" the president asked the author.
"I have never ever said this, but truth is, they got caught spying. They were spying," Trump said, and when asked to confirm who he thinks unlawfully spied on his campaign he said "Obama."
Trump first accused the Obama White House of spying in 2017. In a Twitter post, the president said that Obama "had my wires tapped," accusing his predecessor of setting up a surveillance operation in the Trump Tower.
The commander-in-chief later walked back his claims, explaining that his statement was not meant to be interpreted literally.
In his conversation with Wead, however, Trump went back to claiming that he was indeed spied on.
"It turned out I was right," he told the author, adding that his initial allegations are "peanuts" compared to what Obama actually did.
According to Trump, the Obama administration got caught red handed, and then had no choice but to deny the allegations.The president also told Wead that there was "no collusion" between members of his campaign and the Kremlin, arguing that no other president should go through what he went through with former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, which he claims was orchestrated by the Democrats in order to distract him from governing.
For Trump, it is not unusual to level charges of treason.
The president routinely accuses perceived political opponents of criminal disloyalty to the U.S. Most recently, Trump accused top Democrats in the House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, of treason.
Apparently unnerved by the fact that Pelosi and Schiff are in favor of his impeachment, Trump not only accused them of treason, but called for their removal from Congress.