Politics

Obama's Trip To Hawaii Arouses Suspicion

| by Sheena Vasani

Former President Barack Obama landed in Hawaii less than 48 hours before one of the state's federal judges blocked President Donald Trump's second travel ban, sparking speculation the events were linked.

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson outraged those in the Trump administration when he blocked Trump's second attempt at a ban March 15, CNN reports.

"It is undisputed, using the primary source upon which the Government itself relies, that these six countries have overwhelmingly Muslim populations that range from 90.7% to 99.8%," wrote Watson, later accusing Trump of providing "questionable evidence" supporting his national security argument.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that 48 hours later, Obama landed in Hawaii for a "surprise" visit, raising eyebrows among some.

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"Obama travels to Hawaii 48 hours prior to judge's anti-travel ban ruling, a judge he graduated Law School with," tweeted one person, referring to Watson, who was also appointed by Obama. "Just a coincidence, right?"

Reddit users pointed out that Obama then ate at the Noi Thai restaurant, meaning that Obama was "likely within 5 minutes of the judge’s house at one point on the drive over."

"Obama probably handed him a piece of paper with the decision already written up," speculated another Reddit user. "This is straight-up judicial interference and Sessions MUST investigate. We cannot let go of this or else it'll get worse."

Others, however, thought the allegations were far-fetched and called these arguments "conspiracy theories."

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Mashable writer Nicole Gallucci pointed out another federal judge in Maryland also blocked Trump's 90-day travel ban around the same time, but Obama was not there.

"The former POTUS visited Hawaii -- the place he was born -- this week to have some fun in the sun, golf a bit and take a few meetings," argues Gallucci.

"And Obama's choice of restaurant had nothing to do with its 4.8 star rating??" she continued later in the piece. "It had nothing to do with how delicious Thai food is? Instead, you're telling me it had everything to do with his desire to destroy Trump? Oh. Okay. Everything makes sense now."

The debate comes as headlines about Trump's claims that Obama "wiretapped him" are already dominating the conversation, with many pointing out that Trump tweeted that without evidence.

Officials on both sides of the political spectrum agreed these claims were not based in fact.

"[If the Tweet is taken literally] clearly the president was wrong," said Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of California, reports The Washington Post.

Sources: Reddit, Mashable, The Washington Post, Honolulu Star-Advertiser / Photo credit: Mona Wood-Sword/Facebook via Hawaii News Now

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