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Obamagate   America - all of it

Started May-20 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 542 views.
Jenifer (Zarknorph)
Host

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

May-20

Donald Trump has been peddling a theory known as #Obamagate. What does it all mean?


On May 10, Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of tweets — 126 of them, and the third-highest daily total of his presidency.

Key points:

  • Trump says Obama tried to derail his early presidency
  • The #Obamagate accusation has resurfaced in recent weeks because of a Trump tweet storm
  • Leading Republicans including the Attorney-General have poured cold water over the accusations

Amid a flurry of all-caps missives and exclamation points, "OBAMAGATE!" appeared among the deluge on the President's Twitter account.

With almost 40 million Americans seeking unemployment benefits and more than 90,000 dead, Mr Trump seems fixated on accusations that his predecessor Barack Obama was involved in a wide-reaching conspiracy to derail his early presidency, which has been referred to over the years as Obamagate.

But despite the volume of tweets and coverage, it's unclear what, exactly, Obamagate is to Mr Trump, and what the "crimes" were.

When asked last week by a reporter what crime he was accusing Mr Obama of committing, the President gave no direct answer.

"Obamagate has been going on for a long time, it's been going on from before I even got elected," Mr Trump said.

When pressed further he simply said, "you know what the crime is, the crime is very obvious to everybody".

If it doesn't seem obvious to you, keep reading.

What is 'Obamagate' exactly?

On the surface, the term "Obamagate" is another nod to Watergate, America's biggest political scandal, which ultimately ended the presidency of Richard Nixon in 1974.

The suffix '–gate' has been applied to many scandals in the English-speaking world in the decades since, including nipple-gate, sandpaper-gate, and iguana-gate.

Now, with mounting criticism over Mr Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the President appears to be resurfacing the term to try and open up a new front against his political opponents.

But Obamagate appears more like a blunt electoral strategy than the deep-state conspiracy the President would have you believe.

The conspiracy stems from accusations that Mr Obama, along with his top officials including then vice-president Joe Biden, were involved in a wide-ranging scheme to derail the Trump administration in its infancy.

Labelling it "the biggest political crime in American history", Mr Trump appears to be implicating his 2020 presidential election opponent, Mr Biden.

It originally kicked off in earnest in 2017, when Mr Trump accused the Obama administration of wire-tapping his campaign in 2016.

But Mr Trump's press secretary at the time later clarified that the President's comments weren't to be taken seriously.

In the years since, the claims have simmered among Trump supporters, but in recent weeks the Justice Department's request to dismiss perjury charges against Mr Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, have added further spice to Mr Trump's claims.

The trouble is, other Republicans aren't biting.

Continued...

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Jenifer (Zarknorph)
Host

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

May-20

What's Michael Flynn got to do with Obamagate?

Details released by the Justice Department earlier this month reveal how Obama-era officials deliberated over how to handle Flynn and his case — and this appears to be what Mr Trump and his supporters are drawing on to support their theory.

Bruce Wolpe from Sydney's US Studies Centre said the Flynn case "is evidence number one in the charge that Obama and Biden were in a conspiracy to blacken Trump's name and make his presidency impossible".

And it may have been a rare rebuke from the former president that set the theory in motion.

The prelude to the President's May 10 Twitter storm was a leaked phone call on May 9 from Mr Obama that could also have caught Mr Trump's attention.

In the call with old White House staffers, Mr Obama said the "rule of law was at risk" in the US over the Attorney-General's decision to dismiss the case against Mr Flynn, feeding suspicions over his role in the case.

Republican congressman Andy Biggs of Arizona has labelled the supposed plot an attempted "coup", while conservative commentator David Limbaugh said it was "a smoking .357 Magnum in the hands of scores of those officials".

But other top officials have denied the conspiracy.

Republican senator and presidential ally Lindsey Graham rejected Trump-led calls for Mr Obama to testify in front of Congress over the matter.

And Attorney-General William Barr poured cold water on the allegations this week when he said he did not expect a Justice Department probe into Mr Trump's predecessors.

"So that's a little bit of a blanket over any real action on this, but it will not stop Trump from continuing to make the charge," Mr Wolpe said.

For his part, Mr Obama borrowed a Trump tactic to hit back, issuing his own single-word tweet last week that simply read: "Vote."

He also appeared to criticise the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic last weekend in an online high school graduation address — an unusual move as former presidents traditionally avoid criticism of those that succeed them.

But in another sign these are not usual circumstances, it's also this week been announced that Mr Obama's White House portrait will not be unveiled until Mr Trump is out of office.

The unveiling ceremony is usually attended by both the current and former presidents, but this unconventional presidency appears to have quashed that tradition as well.

Continued

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Jenifer (Zarknorph)
Host

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

May-20

So will Obamagate shake the 2020 election?

It seems unlikely the conspiracy itself will become an election issue, but the theory is sure to continue to feature in the President's election campaign.

"[Trump is] fantastic at coining phrases and words to characterise certain situations," Mr Wolpe said.

"Sleepy Joe Biden, Obamagate, it gets people going, it gets people's imagination.

"I expect he will use that as a wedge in this campaign for his re-election in November."

It also depends on how much life the media breathes into the issue.

"The media really has to say, is this smoke or fire?" Mr Wolpe said.

"Let's go back to Hillary Clinton's emails, which were seen as a treasonous crime by the Republicans and Trump used it viciously and effectively in the media, and that's how he wants to use this."

At the moment, there appears to be a lot of smoke, but no fire yet to fan the flames of Mr Trump's charges.

Nevertheless, it hasn't stopped the President from claiming his predecessor is guilty of a crime bigger than Watergate.


By Sean Mantesso

Jenifer (Zarknorph)
Host

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

May-23

Analysis


BerrySteph

From: BerrySteph

May-23

Jenifer (Zarknorph) said:

a predictable move from the Trump political playbook but the media falls for it every time, writes James Glenday.

The media does this because stupid people latch onto these unpleasant, often racist, memes.

ElDotardo

From: ElDotardo

May-23

Do you read anything other than Left Wing propagandists? It's like referring to the National Inquirer as "The newspaper".

Jenifer (Zarknorph)
Host

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

May-24

ElDotardo said:

Do you read anything other than Left Wing propagandists?

I read the news.

And look to scientific journals and respected sources when I need something backed up.

ElDotardo said:

It's like referring to the National Inquirer as "The newspaper"

Yes.  All biased blogs have zero credibility as a source.

Try reading something a little more grounded in reality.

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