Donald Trump 'weakens presidency' by tweeting unsubstantiated allegations, says Barack Obama's defence secretary

'I mean this is the President of the United States and he has the responsibility to speak the truth to the American people'

Click to follow
The Independent US

President Donald Trump is weakening the office of the presidency by tweeting unsubstantiated allegations, Barack Obama's defence secretary has said.

"I mean this is the President of the United States and he has the responsibility to speak the truth to the American people,” Leon Panetta told CNN.

"When he engages in these kinds of tweets and throws out these kinds of allegations, I think he weakens the office of the presidency."

Stephen Colbert on Trump's wiretapping claims: Someone get this guy a Xanax

Over the weekend, Mr Trump accused Mr Obama of wiretapping phones in Trump Tower, providing no evidence for his claim.

A spokesman for Mr Obama denied he ever ordered the wiretapping of any US citizen.

"Terrible!" Mr Trump tweeted. "Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"

He added: "Is it legal for a sitting President to be 'wire tapping' a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A new low!

"I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to election!"

Mr Penetta added: "I sense that the White House is in a bunker mentality in which they think everybody is against them and the president feeling that way is now tweeting out anything he wants to say."

Last weekend, the top House Democrat said Mr Trump's claims were "just ridiculous".

Representative Nancy Pelosi said Mr Trump is following the playbook of making something up, having the media report it and then saying everybody is writing about it. 

The California Democrat said it was a "tool of an authoritarian" to always have people "talking about what you want them to be talking about." 

Comments