After a tumultuous week in which his administration was both praised and scorned in equal measure, Donald Trump on Saturday accused former president #Barack Obama of wire tapping his phones at Trump Tower for a whole month before the 2016 election.

Without giving any evidence or offering the source of his information, Mr Trump wrote a series of tweets that claimed that Obama “had my ‘wires tapped.’ ” He compared the alleged tapping to the #Watergate episode and also to McCarthyism.

President Trump’s aides failed to elucidate whether #Trump's volatile allegations were based on intelligence briefings from security or law enforcement officials or on something else.

This comes after a rocky week of action at the #White House, where Trump's speech to congress – praised by some and noted by others for being more presidential than ever – was followed by the bombshell claims that his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, had met with a Russian official during the election campaign.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, had sworn under oath that he had not met with any #Russian proxies. He is now facing demands from the Democrats and others within his party to step down. He already recused himself from an investigation into Russian interference in the election.

Shocking attack came with rapid-fire insistence

The unparalleled attack by a sitting president on his predecessor, tweeted early on Saturday morning, had many looking at stories gaining traction in the right wing media.

An article in #Breitbart, the alt-right publication that White House senior advisor Steve Bannon used to edit, claimed Obama is attempting a "silent coup” against President Trump.

Kevin Lewis, a spokesperson for Barack Obama, issued a widely announced statement dismissing the claims. “A #cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” he said.

Lewis went on to explain that neither President Obama nor any other official from the White House had ever instructed that surveillance be carried out on any American citizen.

Others respond to the allegations

Many others from the Obama administration called the #unparalleled accusations shocking and simply not true. They highlighted and referenced longstanding edicts and measures intended to ensure no president can wiretap or spy on a rival for partisan reasons.

Mr. Trump’s decision to tweet and build attention around his claims, without offering any proof, is remarkable and has never happened before in US political history. In one of his earlier tweets at 6:35 am from Palm Beach, the President claimed he had discovered that his phones had been tapped before the election. People online began to speculate that Trump had read an article on the alt-right Breitbart News site, or had listened to conservative radio personality #Mark Levin who have both embraced this unsubstantiated theory in the past few days.

The article in Breitbart on Friday had claimed that there had been a series of “known steps taken by #President Barack Obama’s administration in its last months to undermine Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and, later, his new administration.”

A former law enforcement official who worked with Obama's team said that it was “100 percent untrue”, and said Trump should be pushed to give any evidence for his allegation.