Donald Trump
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Trump blames Obama for White House leaks

DONALD Trump has blamed the leaks from his White House on former president Barack Obama.

Speaking to the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends, Mr Trump said he believed Mr Obama was behind some of the leaks from within his administration and the protests against Republican politicians across the country.

"You never know what is exactly happening behind the scenes," Mr Trump said.

"I think that President Obama is behind it, because his people are certainly behind it. And some of the leaks possibly come from that group, which are really serious because they are very bad in terms of national security.

"But I also understand that is politics. In terms of him being behind things, that's politics, and it will probably continue."

It was an extraordinay allegation to level against the former president, and Mr Trump did not offer any evidence to back up his claims.

Several groups affiliated with the Democratic Party, including the Centre for American Progress and MoveOn, have been helping to organise protests against the Republicans.

Some of them were affiliated with Mr Obama's presidential campaigns, but there has been no whiff of involvement from Mr Obama himself.

He has been living it up since leaving office, holidaying on Richard Branson's private island and visiting Broadway.

In his one political intervention, Mr Obama did provide moral support to those protesting Mr Trump's travel ban.

"President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organise and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake," spokesman Kevin Lewis said on Mr Obama's behalf.

"With regard to comparisons to President Obama's foreign policy decisions, as we've heard before, the president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith and religion."

Mr Trump's administration has been hit by a series of leaks from within the White House and America's intelligence agencies.

Some of those leaks have led to embarrassing revelations - for example, we learnt that Mr Trump prowls the halls of the White House in a bathrobe - while others have been scandalous.

The President's National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn, was forced to resign after leaks revealed he had lied about his discussions with Russia's ambassador to the United States. There are also the incessant leaks about alleged ties between Russia and members of Mr Trump's campaign staff.

TRUMP GRADES HIMSELF

In another part of the Fox & Friends interview, Mr Trump graded his performance over his first month in office. The President gave himself a C for communication and an A for achievement.

"In terms of achievement, I think I'd give myself an A. Because I think I've done great things. But I don't think I have - I and my people - I don't think we've explained it well enough to the American public," he said.

"I think I get an A in terms of what I've actually done, but in terms of messaging, I'd give myself a C or a C+."

TRUMP DENIES 'MAJOR LEAK PROCESS'

Mr Trump also denied that there's a "major leak process" at the White House following reports that White House press secretary Sean Spicer targeted leaks from his own staff.

Mr Trump responded to a Politico report that said Spicer convened an "emergency meeting" after details of a planning meeting got out, and conducted a "phone check" to prove they hadn't been leaking information.

He says he "would have handled it differently than Sean. But Sean handles it his way and I'm OK with it." Mr Trump says, "Sean Spicer is a fine human being," but adds, "I would have gone one-on-one with different people."

Mr Trump also said White House officials have "sort of ideas" about who may have leaked information, adding that "we have people from other campaigns, we have people from other governments."

Mr Trump also had another crack at the media, saying he wouldn't use his favoured platform Twitter is the media was "honest."

"If I felt the media were honest, all or most of it, I wouldn't use Twitter. But it's a modern-day form of communication," he said.

TRUMP 'NOT RACIST'

Mr Trump also responded to jokes in host Jimmy Kimmel's Academy Awards monologue that insinuated he's racist.

"It just seems the other side, whenever they are losing badly, they always pull out the race card," Trump said.

Among other jokes at Mr Trump's expense, Kimmel said "Remember when last year the Oscars were considered racist?" suggesting that now things are even worse with Mr Trump.

"The fact is, I did pretty well, much better than past people in the Republican Party in the recent election, having to do with Hispanics, having to do with African-Americans," he said.

"I did pretty well or I wouldn't be sitting here."

When asked if he took Kimmel's joke seriously, he said, "I can't."

"Because I consider it a very serious [accusation] when they say it and I have to write it off as purely politics."

News Corp Australia

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