Washington, D.C.

Trump renews Twitter attacks on Clinton, Obama

Messages start at 5:15 a.m.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct, 9, 2016.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct, 9, 2016.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump kicked off his week on Monday by renewing attacks on Hillary Clinton and her team on Twitter, while seizing on Fox News reports to justify his assertions that the Obama administration spied on him during last year’s campaign.

In a burst of four Twitter messages starting at 5:15 a.m., Trump sought again to turn attention away from the investigation into contacts between his associates and Russian officials by pointing back at Democrats. He has argued repeatedly that “the real story” is how President Barack Obama’s administration targeted him and how Clinton and her associates had ties to Russia, as well.

Trump first accused Obama a month ago of tapping his telephones at Trump Tower during the campaign last year and has refused to back off even though Obama and his top aides have adamantly denied it. The FBI director and the former director of national intelligence have said the phone tapping charge is not true and congressional leaders of both parties have all said they have seen no evidence of it.

Trump and his aides have seized on reports that the president or his associates may have been “incidentally” swept up in foreign surveillance by U.S. spy agencies. Intelligence officials are supposed to guard the privacy of Americans caught up in routine eavesdropping of foreign officials, but the White House has pointed to reports that some associates of Trump were “unmasked” in intelligence reports.

In his Twitter posts on Monday, Trump also tried to raise questions again about Clinton and her circle.

Podesta was the chairman of Clinton’s campaign and a former White House counselor to Obama. His brother, Tony Podesta, runs the Podesta Group, a major Washington firm that registered last year as a lobbyist for Sberbank, a Russian state-owned bank and the country’s largest, which was sanctioned by Obama in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. The firm was tasked with “assessing possible ways to address sanctions relief and monitoring relevant developments applicable to such matters,” according to forms filed by the Podesta firm.

In his posts, Trump also raised an unrelated controversy from last year when hacked emails released by WikiLeaks showed that Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor, shared questions for the network’s candidate events with Clinton’s campaign. CNN then severed its ties with Brazile.

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