Former Obama adviser David Axelrod slammed President Trump on Saturday for his claim that Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower last year, calling Trump’s claim an effort to distract from his own scrutiny.
“This seems ‘nutts.’ Frantic way in which @realDonaldTrump is kicking up dust only adds to suspicions and the need for full public reckoning,” Axelrod wrote on Twitter.
The former Obama strategist was responding to a series of tweets Trump posted Saturday morning alleging that former President Barack Obamawiretapped his phone lines during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump did not provide any evidence to back up his claims and an Obama spokesman called them false. The spokesman said that no White House official ordered the surveillance of any American, let alone Trump.
Axelrod, a Democratic strategist, seemed to suggest Saturday that Trump was seeking to distract from reports about his aides’ communications with Russian officials and probes about potential Russian ties.
Axelrod went on to note that many Democrats had pushed the Obama administration to disclose more during Trump’s campaign, adding that such a wiretap would have been approved by a court “for a reason.”
Trump’s bombshell allegation Saturday comes as his young administration faces renewed questions about his aides and allies’ potential ties to Russia.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday recused himself from any federal investigation into Russian intervention in the election after it was revealed he twice spoke with Russia’s ambassador during the campaign last year, something he did not disclose during his Senate confirmation hearings in January.
Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn was also revealed to have met with Kislyak. Flynn resigned last month amid revelations that he discussed sanctions with the ambassador in the month before Trump took office and misled Vice President Pence and others about the talks.
While it is not unusual for campaign officials to speak with foreign diplomats, the Trump administration had repeatedly denied that such contacts had taken place.
The U.S. intelligence community concluded late last year that the Kremlin had interfered in the presidential election to help Trump. Russia’s role in the election and the president and his aides’ ties to Moscow are the subject of ongoing investigations