As of May 2020, 93,000 Americans have died due to Coronavirus, over 30 million Americans have lost their jobs, and the unemployment rates are the highest they’ve been since the Great Depression. Throughout all of this, the Trump administration repeatedly clashed with the CDC, top health officials, and state governments, spread misinformation and created a disorganized response to the global pandemic. In an increasingly creative way to distract from the federal government’s shortcomings, President Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Fox News have turned attention away from Coronavirus, and back to an old foe: Obama.
Trump has been tweeting repeatedly about his newest conspiracy theory “Obamagate” calling it the “biggest crime in American political history, by far!” The theory claims that former President Barack Obama attempted to undermine the Trump administration by plotting an investigation into Michael Flynn. It takes the routine practice of “unmasking” where national security officials uncover the names of Americans who appear on intelligence reports and turns it into something sinister. It seems the intention here is to rewrite the Mueller-Russia Investigation to turn Trump into the victim.
It’s unclear what the actual facts of Obama’s “crime” are, considering even Trump can’t explain his theory. When questioned about it at a press conference, Trump responded: “Some terrible things happened and it should never be allowed to happen in our country again.” And then when pressed to give actual details of a crime he went on, “You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody,” allowing for Obama critics to use their imaginations.
FoxNews has eagerly jumped on “Obamagate”. Their Coronavirus coverage–a subject that has forced them to be uncharacteristically critical of a Republican president–was down significantly as they turned to anti-Obama coverage, a potentially unprofessional move considering the crisis currently facing our nation. Mitch McConnell also joined the anti-Obama bandwagon, referring to a statement the former President made criticizing Trump’s Coronavirus response as “tasteless.” McConnell added that it was improper for Obama to break the norm of commenting on his successor’s performance, a shocking claim considering the ways Trump continuously breaks the norm of not criticizing his Presidential predecessor.
All that being said, political corruption should always be taken seriously. If there is concrete evidence that the Obama administration interfered with the Russia Investigation, it should be addressed no matter how many years ago it occurred. However, at this time, Trump cannot offer any solid evidence of corruption or even explain his own theory.