President Donald Trump has blamed former President Barack Obama for the many leaks that have come out of intelligence circles, as well as the protests at recent town hall meetings.
"I think President Obama's behind it, because his people are certainly behind it," Trump told Fox News, according to The Hill.
"And some of the leaks possibly come from that group," Trump said of people hired under Obama who still work for various intelligence agencies. "You know, some of the leaks, which are really very serious leaks, because they’re very bad in terms of national security, but I also understand that's politics. And in terms of him being behind things, that's politics, and it will probably continue."
Trump also said Obama is the reason for protests around the country at GOP town halls via the pro-Democrat group, Organizing for Action, which was founded in 2013 to push for the former president's political agenda after his 2012 re-election.
"I think he is behind it," Trump said, according to The Washington Post. "I also think it's politics. That's the way it is."
Indeed, OFA recently announced it has re-launched its organizing efforts to fight Trump. According to NBC News, the organization, which is led by Jim Messina, a former Obama adviser who served as his 2012 campaign manager, has hired 14 field organizers in several states across the country. But whether or not the organization has anything to do with the protests at town halls is not certain.
PolitiFact rated that claim, which has been levied by several Republican politicians, including Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, as false.
But accusing protesters of being paid, rather than concerned citizens, is a common trope.
The fact-checking site also pointed out that, soon after Obama's 2008 election victory when Tea Party Republican activists protested both Democrats and some Republicans, Democrats accused them of being "astroturf," rather than grassroots, activists, and also accused them of being paid.
"It’s easier to say all these protests are paid than to admit there are wide swaths of people in your district who disagree with how they are represented in Congress," Sarah Dohl, a spokeswoman for Indivisible, a group that helps activists connect with each other, told PolitiFact.