Trump: Obama is ‘hiding’ from the Ukraine controversy

October 21, 2019

President Donald Trump has accused Barack Obama of “hiding” in plain sight as the controversy involving Ukraine consumes Joe Biden.

Breitbart reports that Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro earlier this month that Obama “knows all about” the former vice president’s dubious dealings in Ukraine and China, which have received significant attention since Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

What does Obama know?

President Trump has relentlessly attacked Biden and his son, Hunter, over the pair’s dealings in Ukraine and China when Biden was vice president. Trump has alleged that Joe Biden leveraged his power to get his son a lucrative job on the board of a Ukranian gas company, Burisma Holdings, and then pressure Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who had investigated the company.

But as Democrats seek to impeach Trump based on his request to have Ukraine investigate Biden, Obama has maintained a studious silence on the subject. Asked by Pirro why Obama has remained quiet as Biden faces massive public scrutiny, Trump suggested that Obama himself may have been implicated in the scandal.

“I think he knows all about it,” Trump said, according to Fox. “And we are talking about [investigating] the investigators. We’re talking about the beginning. And it was really before I took office. It was — if you look at the insurance policy with [Peter] Strzok and [Lisa] Page, ‘just in case she should lose, we’ve got an insurance policy.’ That’s what all this stuff has been about, the insurance policy,” he added, referring to alleged election interference in 2016 by Obama officials.

For the most part, the mainstream media has dismissed the Biden–Ukraine story as a “conspiracy theory.” Hunter Biden attempted to nip the controversy in the bud with an ABC interview last week that aired the morning of his father’s return to the debate stage in Ohio, which turned out to be a mostly kid-gloved affair; debate moderator Anderson Cooper even framed a question about Ukraine by claiming that Joe Biden has been “falsely accused” of wrongdoing, Politico reports.

While remaining quiet about controversies involving his former vice president, Obama has not hesitated to endorse Justin Trudeau for re-election in Canada — a move that conservatives have decried as clear election interference, The Hill notes. It’s part of a pattern for Obama, who has largely skirted claims of wrongdoing by Trump while continuing to comment on the future of America and liberal democracies in the West.

Obama has occasionally weighed in on issues like gun control, immigration, and other fronts where he fears President Trump is taking the country and the world down the wrong path. But Obama has not endorsed Joe Biden, despite the former VP’s constant allusions to his legacy as the right-hand man of the most powerful Democrat in America.

Trump goes after his predecessor

For his part, Trump has more directly accused Obama of corrupt involvement in the 2016 election in recent days. The president pointed his finger squarely at Obama at a press conference in Italy last week for alleged interference in the “corrupt” 2016 election, The Washington Times reports, echoing comments he made earlier to Pirro alleging that Obama is afraid of what Attorney General William Barr may uncover in his review of the Trump–Russia probe.

“It was a corrupt election,” Trump told reporters in Italy. “Maybe it goes right up to Obama. I happen to think it does.”

Republicans have long alleged that Obama officials sympathetic to Hillary Clinton — like James Comey, John Brennan, and Susan Rice — conspired to thwart Trump’s candidacy, and then presidency, by leveraging the power of U.S. intelligence to spy on the Trump campaign and feed the infamous Russia dossier to the media, setting off the Russia collusion hoax that consumed Trump through the first half of his first term.

Trump has occasionally claimed that the conspiracy must have gone all the way up to the former commander-in-chief, but these recent comments are by far his most pointed accusations.

Meanwhile, Trump has defended his call with Ukraine’s president as a “beautiful” and “perfect” conversation, while maintaining that neither he nor his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani did anything wrong by seeking to investigate “corruption” involving the Bidens in Ukraine. Trump had also asked Ukraine’s president to probe whether Ukrainians sympathetic to Clinton interfered in the 2016 election.

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.