The Slatest

Trump Calls for Investigation Into Barack Obama’s Book Deal

Former President Barack Obama speaks to the audience during the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit on April 3, 2019 in Seville, Spain.
Former President Barack Obama speaks to the audience during the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit on April 3, 2019 in Seville, Spain.
Marcelo del Pozo/Getty Images

President Donald Trump appeared to be grasping at straws Friday as he tried to deflect attention away from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony and tried to turn attention to his predecessor. “We want to find out what happened with the last Democrat president,” Trump told reporters. “Let’s look into Obama the way they have looked at me from day one. They looked into everything that we’ve done. They could look into the book deal that President Obama made. Let’s subpoena all of his records.” Although he didn’t specify what exactly he was talking about it seems he was referring to reports that Obama and his wife Michelle Obama received a combined $65 million advance for their books.

Trump was talking to reporters in the Oval Office after he summoned them unexpectedly. He mentioned his administration had reached a “safe third country” agreement with Guatemala that would force migrants who pass by Guatemala on their way to the United States to apply for asylum there rather than in the United States. But he quickly began complaining about Democrats in Congress. “All they want to do is impede. They want to investigate. They want to go fishing. And I watched Bob Mueller, and they have nothing,” Trump said. “There’s no collusion there’s no obstruction they have nothing. It’s a disgrace.”

That’s when Trump suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, said that Obama’s book deal should be investigated. He also said his former rival for the presidency should be investigated. “Let’s subpoena all of the records having to do with Hillary Clinton and all of the nonsense that went on with Clinton and her foundation and everything else. We could do that all day long,” Trump added.

When it came to his predecessor though, Trump also pinned the blame on him for something else: the air conditioning. The president talked about it as he explained that he would be spending some time at his New Jersey resort next month but “it’s never a vacation.” He said that being away helps maintenance crew do work around the White House. “The Obama administration worked out a brand new air conditioning system for the West Wing,” he said. “It was so good before they did the system. Now that they did this system, it’s freezing or hot.”