Ahead of summit, Trump faults Obama for Rus­sian med­dling

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Nation & World - BY JILL COLVIN As­so­ci­ated Press

Two days be­fore a high­stakes summit with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump played golf and tweeted Satur­day from one of his name­sake re­sorts, blam­ing his pre­de­ces­sor for Rus­sian elec­tion med­dling and lash­ing out at the free press from for­eign soil.

Aides had said Trump would spend the week­end pre­par­ing to meet Putin on Mon­day in Helsinki, but the tweets showed other top­ics were on his mind.

“I have ar­rived in Scot- land and will be at Trump Turn­berry for two days of meet­ings, calls and hope­fully, some golf – my pri­mary form of ex­er­cise!” he tweeted early Satur­day, ref­er­enc­ing his sea­side golf re­sort. “The weather is beau­ti­ful, and this place is in­cred­i­ble! To­mor­row I go to Helsinki for a Mon­day meet­ing with Vladimir Putin.”

Trump was later seen play­ing the Turn­berry links, sev­eral holes of which are vis­i­ble from a nearby beach, where dozens of peo­ple staged a protest pic­nic Satur­day. He was video­taped wav­ing at protesters as they shouted “No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA!” be­fore re­sum­ing his game. He was also seen pos­ing for pho­tos.

The protesters were among the thou­sands who came out in Scot­land and Eng­land in op­po­si­tion to the U.S. pres­i­dent’s visit to both coun­tries.

Some 10,000 peo­ple marched Satur­day through the Scot­tish cap­i­tal of Ed­in­burgh, while po­lice searched for a paraglider who breached a no-fly zone and flew a protest ban­ner over the re­sort in western Scot­land where Trump and his wife, Me­la­nia, are stay­ing through Sun­day.

The glider car­ried a ban­ner that said “Trump: Well Be­low Par” over the re­sort Fri­day night to protest his en­vi­ron­men­tal and im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies.

In Ed­in­burgh, anti-fas­cist groups and po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists joined those who said they’d never protested be­fore, weav­ing through the cap­i­tal’s streets wav­ing an ar­ray of makeshift an­tiTrump ban­ners.

“Don­ald Trump is not wel­come here,” Scot­tish Labour leader Richard Leonard told the crowd. “The hor­rific scenes at the Mexican bor­der are just the lat­est ex­am­ple of his repu­di­a­tion of de­cent hu­man val­ues.”

Trump has spent the week­long trip wreak­ing havoc in Europe, first at a NATO summit in Brus­sels where he ques­tioned the value of the decades-old al­liance, and later in Bri­tain, where he faced fall­out from a stun­ning news­pa­per in­ter­view in which he un­der­mined Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May at an es­pe­cially vul­ner­a­ble time.

But Trump was also keep­ing tabs on do­mes­tic is­sues, in­clud­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Rus­sian elec­tion med­dling.

In Satur­day’s tweets, Trump tried to blame for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama for fail­ing to stop the Rus­sians from work­ing to help him win the 2016 elec­tion.

“The sto­ries you heard about the 12 Rus­sians yes­ter­day took place dur­ing the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion, not the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Trump tweeted, ask­ing why they didn’t “do some­thing about it, es­pe­cially when it was re­ported that Pres­i­dent Obama was in­formed by the FBI in Septem­ber, be­fore the Elec­tion?”

It was Trump’s first re­sponse to in­dict­ments an­nounced Fri­day in Wash­ing­ton against 12 Rus­sian mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers who al­legedly hacked into the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of Hil­lary Clin­ton, Trump’s Demo­cratic ri­val, and the Demo­cratic Party, and re­leased tens of thou­sands of emails in a sweep­ing Krem­lin con­spir­acy to help Trump.

PETER MOR­RI­SON AP

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump waves to protesters Satur­day while play­ing golf in Scot­land. In tweets, Trump blamed the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion for Rus­sian elec­tion med­dling.

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