That has included heavily promoting the word “Obamagate,” coming in the aftermath of Yahoo’s story that former President Barack Obama, in a private call with his administration’s alums, called Trump’s response to the coronavirus an “absolute chaotic disaster.” Obama also said that with the Justice Department decision to drop the Michael Flynn case, “our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.”
On Sunday, Trump retweeted a comment that included the hashtag “Obamagate,” and then followed up the reference with eight other uses of the term, so far. It’s rooted in the conspiracy theory that the former president engaged in a surreptitious effort to take down his successor.
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Asked at a press briefing on Monday what crime his predecessor committed, Trump said, “You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody.”
One of Flynn’s lawyers appeared on Fox News on Sunday and claimed that Flynn’s downfall was a set up “orchestrated” by Obama and other top members of his administration. But she did not provide evidence for the claim. In their motion to dismiss the Flynn case, the Justice Department did provide documents that showed that following a Jan. 5, 2017 briefing, Obama disclosed that he was aware of the phone conversation that Flynn had with the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, the previous month.
As has been repeatedly noted, it was then-FBI Director James Comey, a frequent Trump target, who announced in late October 2016 that the Hillary Clinton email investigation was being reopened, something that is often cited among the reasons she lost the election.
The Justice Department’s recent decision to drop its case against Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, has given more fuel to the theories, including the revelation of FBI notes that have led to claims that the agency was trying to entrap him. But Flynn pled guilty to making false statements, and Trump said that he “had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.”
Trump has been an expert at pushing out not just conspiracy theories, but one- and two- word labels against opponents, hoping that they stick, but the “Obamagate” tag is certainly not original. Ever since the real Watergate, it’s been the common practice to try to affix the term “-gate” to any major scandal, usually with little success.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s supporters responded with a tag of their own, TrumpGate, along with links to ads bashing Trump over his administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Biden’s rapid response director, Andrew Bates, tweeted, “And we wonder why his handling of the coronavirus outbreak has been an unfocused, botched disaster.”
Ava Duverney was among those who picked up on the Obamagate-Trumpgate tags.
“The bots are out with #Obamagate on the same weekend that we hear President Obama publicly call that clown a catastrophe,” she wrote. “If this is the tactic, y’all need new tactics. Try free tests for all regardless of symptoms. Food for the hungry. Unemployment strategy. Nah? Just bots? Ok.” She then tweeted out a Biden ad.
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