Trump has repeatedly asked foreign leaders to help him attack his political rivals.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump attempted to deflect a question about his actions in requesting political dirt from a foreign leader by claiming that President Barack Obama did it. Obama did not.
Trump made the baseless accusation during a press conference at the United Nations after rambling for several minutes about a laundry list of issues, including an actual list of the countries he had meetings with.
"Can you tell the American people why it is appropriate for an American president to ask a foreign leader for information about a political rival?" a reporter asked Trump. "And what you would have said if you discovered that Barack Obama perhaps had asked a foreign leader for information about you?"
"Well, that's what he did, isn't it, really, when you think about it?" Trump replied. "That whole witch hunt was started and hopefully that will all come out."
Trump went on to recommend several right-wing books that echo his long-running "deep state" conspiracy theories, which allege there is an effort underway within the U.S. government to undermine his presidency.
Trump never answered the reporter's question about whether his request to the Ukrainian government to investigate and find dirt on Joe Biden was appropriate.
The assertion from Trump is not supported by any reporting or other factual data.
During the 2016 election, it was Trump — not Obama or Trump's opponent, Secretary Hillary Clinton — who solicited foreign help in winning the race.
"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said in July of 2016. The Mueller report revealed that just five hours later, Russia began to target Clinton's emails in a hacking attempt.
The election accusation against Obama is just one of many baseless claims Trump has been made about his more popular predecessor.
Long before running for office, Trump alleged for years that Obama was a foreign-born national as part of the racist "birther" conspiracy theory (Obama was born in Hawaii). He also claimed that climate change is a Chinese hoax (it is a real scientific phenomenon).
On Wednesday, amid new evidence that Trump repeatedly tried to get a foreign government to do his political dirty work, Trump weaved another tall tale.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.