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