Recently people on the right have started pushing a ludicrous pseudo-scandal they’re calling Obamagate. It holds that investigations by Barack Obama’s administration into Russia’s attack on the 2016 U.S. presidential election were a form of illicit sabotage of Donald Trump and his team.
The story doesn’t really make sense, which is why, when asked about Obamagate, President Trump couldn’t describe it. But at the heart of the conspiracy theory is “unmasking,” the routine practice by which national security officials find out the names of Americans who appear on intelligence intercepts of foreign actors. Trumpists have tried to turn this into a sinister and portentous term.
Obamagate exists to rewrite the history of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference to make Trump the victim, rather than someone who actively sought Russia’s help and then took steps to reward the nation’s president, Vladimir Putin, for providing it. Trump often accuses others of misdeeds that he is guilty of; recall his sputtering response to Hillary Clinton calling him a Putin puppet in a 2016 debate:
“No puppet! No puppet! You’re the puppet!” In Obamagate, he is accusing his opponents of politicizing intelligence because of a political vendetta, which is what his administration is currently doing. Read more…
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