President Donald Trump has accused former President Barack Obama of being “behind” the protests that Republican members of Congress have encountered at town hall meetings across the country.
The allegation came during the president’s interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” clips of which were released Monday.
Interviewer Brian Kilmeade first states that Obama’s “organisation seems to be doing a lot of the organising of some of the protests that a lot of these Republicans are seeing around the country and against you.”
Trump is then asked, “Do you believe President Obama is behind it, and if he is, is that a violation of the so-called, unsaid, president’s code?
“No, I think he is behind it,” said Trump. “I also think its politics, that’s the way it is.”
The organisation referred to is Organising for Action, which describes itself on its website as “a non-partisan, issue advocacy organisation committed to growing the grassroots movement by training, educating, and activating civically engaged community members across the country.”
The group was founded in the aftermath of Obama’s 2012 re-election and occupies the digital spaces once owned by the campaign.
Its chairman is Jim Messina, who was Obama’s deputy chief of staff from 2009-2011.
The organisation advocates for the positions held by the 44th president, but as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, may not directly support political candidates.
“I think that President Obama is probably behind it because his people are certainly behind it,” Trump added. “In terms of him being behind things, that’s politics and it will probably continue.
Organising for Action’s website links to the Town Hall Project, a separate, open-source group that compiles a list of events featuring lawmakers and encourages citizens to attend.
The Town Hall Project’s list includes events with both Republican and Democratic legislators.
There is no evidence that the project has any direct relationship with Obama.
Presidents traditionally abstain from direct comment on the actions of their successors.
Following the 2016 election, Obama repeatedly said he wished to aid in a smooth transition to the Trump administration.