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I think Barack Obama is behind the wave of protests and national security leaks

US President Donald Trump has said he believes Barack Obama is behind a wave of protests against Republican lawmakers, and national security leaks.

 

He told Fox News: “I think President Obama’s behind it because his people are certainly behind it”, but added: “I also think it’s just politics.”

 

Mr Trump offered no evidence for his claims and his predecessor in the White House has not commented.

 

The president also spoke about his budget plans and other issues.

 

President Trump’s interview was broadcast hours before he is due to give his first address to a joint session of Congress.

 

A senior White House official told the BBC the president would talk about a “renewal of the American spirit”, offering an “optimistic vision”.

 

Mr Trump has said his proposal to increase the defence budget by $54bn (£43bn) would be paid for by a “revved up economy”.

 

The foreign aid purse and the environmental department face a squeeze to pay for it, but analysts are doubtful the spending promises can be kept without increasing the deficit.

 

The president said he would get “more product for our buck” in terms of buying military hardware and would ask for a “form of reimbursement” from countries making use of the US military.

 

Mr Trump is to sign an executive order that reviews an Obama-era rule protecting waterways from development and pollution

 

He said he would be a “hypocrite” if he attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, given his difficult relationship with the media

 

In a Fox News interview, Mr Trump was asked about the protests faced by some Republican politicians at town hall meetings across the country.

 

He said he was certain Obama loyalists were behind both those protests and White House leaks.

 

“In terms of him being behind things, that’s politics. And it will probably continue,” he added.