Now the desperate GOP is trying to portray President Obama as some some of dastardly villain for wanting to protect America.
As commander in chief in 2016, Barack Obama expressed deep concern about reports that Russian operatives were trying to interfere in U.S. elections. At one point in September, he made it clear to FBI officials that he wanted to know “everything” the FBI was working on at the time.
Donald Trump, Fox News, and his Republicans sycophants are now trying to turn that not-surprising piece of information into a scandalous revelation: Obama was in on the Russia collusion trap that Democrats set for Trump.
It’s the latest, mindless chapter in the truly endless Republican effort to delegitimize the FBI, while special counsel Robert Mueller investigates possible Russia collusion and obstruction of justice involving Trump and his team.
Republicans and their allies in the right-wing bubble media are so desperate to smear federal prosecutors that they’re clinging to the idea that Obama possibly expressing interest in FBI investigations in 2016 represents some sort of dastardly act.
It really is in the realm of up is down:
I realize it's jarring given our current reality, but most presidents would actually want to know the details of a foreign government's intervention in our elections. https://t.co/XbEhu1qrI2
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) February 7, 2018
What ignited the latest round of foolishness is a thin report from Fox News, which claims a text from a senior FBI agent in 2016 stressed that Obama wanted to know everything were doing.” Fox claimed that the text “raises questions about Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation.”
But the Clinton email investigation in September 2016 didn’t actually exist because James Comey, the FBI director at the time, effectively ended it in July 2016.
Nonetheless, Trump tweeted “NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!” Wednesday morning.
It’s possible that what Obama might have really wanted to “know” about at the time was the FBI’s then-ongoing investigation into Russian interference into the unfolding election season.
Testifying before Congress last year, Comey confirmed that the bureau began its Russia investigation back in July of 2016.
And it wasn’t just the FBI. In September 2016, congressional leaders were briefed about the CIAs belief that Russia was intervening in the election to benefit Trump, according to the Washington Post.
The following month, Obama reached out to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and asked if Republicans would join him in making a joint statement condemning Russia efforts to meddle in the campaign.
But having benefited political from the Russian hacking of Democratic emails that year, Republicans refused.
As for Trump’s Wednesday tweet, this isn’t the first time since his inauguration that he has made or endorsed outlandish conspiratorial claims about Obama. Most famously in March 2017, Trump claimed without proof that the then-President of the United States had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.
That story went nowhere for the GOP. And so will this one.