WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is wishing members of Congress would show him the deference that he said Republicans gave Barack Obama when he was president. Trump is recalling a genteel time that did not exist.
TRUMP on Democrats: “All they want to do is impede, they want to investigate. They want to go fishing. … We want to find out what happened with the last Democrat president. Let’s look into Obama the way they’ve looked at me. Let’s subpoena all of the records having to do with Hillary Clinton and all of the nonsense that went on with Clinton and her foundation and everything else. Could do that all day long. Frankly, the Republicans were gentlemen and women when we had the majority in the House. They didn’t do subpoenas all day long. They didn’t do what these people are doing. What they’ve done is a disgrace.” — Oval Office remarks Friday.
THE FACTS: He’s distorting recent history. Republicans made aggressive use of their investigative powers when they controlled one chamber or the other during the Obama years. Moreover, matters involving Hillary Clinton, her use of email as secretary of state, her conduct of foreign policy and the Clinton Foundation were very much part of their scrutiny. And they weren’t notably polite about it.
Over the course of a few months in 2016, House Republicans controlling the oversight committee unleashed a barrage of subpoenas in what minority Democrats called a “desperate onslaught of frivolous attacks” and “everything in their arsenal against Secretary Clinton.” In addition, Clinton was investigated by the FBI.
Earlier, a half dozen GOP-led House committees conducted protracted investigations of the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya. Republican-led investigations of the 2009-2011 Operation Fast and Furious episode — a botched initiative against drug cartels that ended up putting guns in the hands of murderers — lasted into the Trump administration.
Obama was dogged by investigations into the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of conservatives and his administration’s loan guarantee to the failed solar-panel startup, Solyndra. And much more.
Trump was well aware of the search for scandals at the time. He cheered Republican investigations from the sidelines, on Twitter.
On the notion that Obama was treated with courtesy by Republican “gentlemen and women,” Trump ignored the heckling that erupted during Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress in 2009, which was shocking at the time.
“You lie!” Rep. Joe Wilson of South Caroline hollered. His outburst came when Obama attempted to assure lawmakers that his health care initiative would not provide coverage to people in the U.S. illegally.
Obama also faced persistent innuendo over the country of his birth. Trump himself was a leading voice raising false suspicions that Obama was born outside the U.S.