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    Obama's Ghost Haunts Trump: Is the US Ex-Leader Really Still Behind the Throne?

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    Despite having left office almost two months ago, former US President Barack Obama seems to be continuing to call the shots at the White House, according to the Russian online newspaper Gazeta.ru.

    Earlier this week, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said during a press briefing that US President Donald Trump maintains his allegations of wiretapping conducted by former US leader Barack Obama.

    Trump had made the allegations over Twitter on March 4, claiming that then-President Obama had authorized surveillance on Trump Tower during the lead-up to the November 2016 presidential election.

    Trump called the "wiretapping" by the Obama administration a "new low" and a return to the era of McCarthyism.

    It is worth noting that the relationship between Trump and Obama quickly deteriorated after Trump's inauguration on January 20, with the current US administration stressing the need to "dismantle the last bits of Obama's legacy."

    According to experts, verbal attacks on Obama are connected with the fear that the former US President continues to influence the country's Democratic Party even after his resignation.

    "I think that he has left a large footprint not only in on the [Democratic] Party, but also on the system as a whole," expert Viktoria Zhuravleva, of the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations, was quoted by Gazeta.ru as saying.

    Now that former President Clinton has withdrawn into the shadows after his wife Hillary lost the election, Obama remains the most influential informal figure for the Democrats, given that the party's current chairman mainly acts as a purely technical figure, according to Gazeta.ru.

    "His influence will be felt for a long time because the Democrats have no other influential figure. He left just recently and has many connections across the world, and Trump still sees him as a rival," Nikolai Zlobin, head of the Center for Global Interests in Washington, said in an interview with Gazeta.ru.

    According to Zlobin, Trump's desire to crack down on his predecessor can also be attributed to the fact that Obama's approval rating remains higher than that of President Trump.

    Zlobin predicted that "it will take Trump about three years to finally get rid of 'Obama's influence.'"

    Russian expert on the United States Viktor Mizin, for his part, stressed the necessity of Trump dealing with "a big purge."

    According to him, Trump needs to get rid of the political appointees of his predecessor who still continue to work in US state power structures.

    As for the Democratic Party, "after Obama's departure it remains as if in a stupor," according to Viktoria Zhuravleva.

    "He was so revolutionary [minded] that now the party's entire establishment looks like dinosaurs. It takes time so that the Democrats can 'catch up' with him," she concluded.

    Meanwhile, retired Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong told Sputnik that six US senators had presented President Donald Trump with a test of his determination to end Barack Obama's efforts to foster regime change around the world, especially in the Balkans.

    On Tuesday, a group of six US Senators led by Mike Lee from the state of Utah called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to investigate the US funding political factions within other sovereign nations, including through a George Soros-backed organizations funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

    "The administration's reaction to this letter will be a test," Armstrong said.

    According to him, "to many in the general public, Soros retains a reputation as a benign do-gooder, but the senators charge that the US mission in Macedonia has intervened in party politics of Macedonia, as well as in the shaping of its media environment and civil society."

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    influence, world, approval rating, resignation, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, United States
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