Trump tweets conspiracy theory minutes after Obama accuses him of treating the presidency like 'one more reality show he can use to get the attention he craves'

Trump tweets conspiracy theory minutes after Obama accuses him of treating the presidency like 'one more reality show he can use to get the attention he craves'

August 20, 2020
  • Shortly after former President Barack Obama warned that President Donald Trump is not interested in taking his job seriously, Trump tweeted a conspiracy theory about the Russia probe.
  • Trump has shown "no interest in treating the presidency as anything more than one more reality show he can use to get the attention he craves," Obama said in his speech at the Democratic National Convention.
  • A few minutes later, Trump tweeted in all caps, "HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!"
  • An internal Justice Department investigation uncovered no evidence that the Obama administration or the FBI "spied" on the Trump campaign.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former President Barack Obama took the spotlight at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday to deliver a forceful endorsement of the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and an equally forceful rebuke of President Donald Trump.

And it appears Trump was watching.

"HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!" the president tweeted at 10:33 p.m. ET, as Obama's pre-recorded speech was playing at the DNC.

Trump's tweet came shortly after Obama said his successor has shown "no interest in treating the presidency as anything more than one more reality show he can use to get the attention he craves."

Trump "has shown no interest in putting in the work, no interest in finding common ground," and "no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends," Obama added. "Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't. And the consequences of that failure are severe."

Trump and his allies have long accused the Obama administration and senior officials at the FBI and Justice Department of inappropriately "spying" on Trump's 2016 campaign. However, a sweeping investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, uncovered no evidence that Obama officials or the FBI spied on Trump.

Obama didn't mince words on Wednesday as he skewered Trump's botched response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The US currently has the highest number of positive cases — about 25% of the worldwide total — despite having just 4% of the world's population.

"170,000 Americans dead," Obama said. "Millions of jobs gone, while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before."

Obama largely stayed on the sidelines of the 2020 presidential race until it became clear that Biden would be the Democratic nominee. Obama endorsed his former vice president in April, telling supporters in a video that Biden "has all the qualities we need in a president right now."

The president referenced Obama's endorsement in another tweet Wednesday night, writing in all caps, "WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE? WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?"

Trump appeared to be referencing media reports that said Obama was initially worried that Biden might "embarrass himself" if he ran for president.

Obama has thrown his support behind Biden this year and in his Wednesday speech, he urged voters, especially young Americans, to register to vote and help their friends and family register as well. 

The former president tore into Trump and Republicans — without directly naming them — for spreading misinformation about voting by mail and taking steps to make it more difficult for people to vote. He also praised protesters for pushing back against those actions and demonstrating against policies they view as unjust.

Obama closed out his speech by warning that the Trump administration "has shown it will tear our democracy down if that's what it takes for them to win."

 

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