Donald Trump rocked the political world when he accused Barack Obama of spying on him during the 2016 election.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Newly released numbers expose the massive extent of Obama’s frightening domestic surveillance efforts during the 2016 election.

Circa reports:

During his final year in office, President Barack Obama’s team significantly expanded efforts to search National Security Agency intercepts for information about Americans, distributing thousands of intelligence reports across government with the unredacted names of U.S. residents during the midst of a divisive 2016 presidential election.

The data, made available this week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provides the clearest evidence to date of how information accidentally collected by the NSA overseas about Americans was subsequently searched and disseminated after President Obama loosened privacy protections to make such sharing easier in 2011 in the name of national security. A court affirmed his order.

The revelations are particularly sensitive since the NSA is legally forbidden from directly spying on Americans and its authority to conduct warrantless searches on foreigners is up for renewal in Congress later this year. And it comes as lawmakers investigate President Trump’s own claims his privacy was violated by his predecessor during the 2016 election.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also released data showing that the Obama administration had conducted searches on three times the number of Americans than in 2013, the first year records were kept.

Circa reports:

In all, government officials conducted 30,355 searches in 2016 seeking information about Americans in NSA intercept metadata, which include telephone numbers and email addresses. The activity amounted to a 27.5 percent increase over the prior year and more than triple the 9,500 such searches that occurred in 2013, the first year such data was kept. 

The government in 2016 also scoured the actual contents of NSA intercepted calls and emails for 5,288 Americans, an increase of 13 percent over the prior year and a massive spike from the 198 names searched in 2013.

The searches ultimately resulted in 3,134 NSA intelligence reports with unredacted U.S. names being distributed across government in 2016, and another 3,354 reports in 2015. About half the time, U.S. identities were unredacted in the original reports while the other half were unmasked after the fact by special request of Obama administration officials.”

These Americans who were unmasked included members of the Trump campaign and occurred at the request of senior Obama administration officials such as former National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The massive amount of domestic spying Obama engaged in frightened Americans who know that the Constitution protects their rights against unreasonable searches and seizure.

Obama further eroded those rights when his administration eased the ability of the government to share the information collected from surveillance across federal agencies.

This order – combined with the increase in searches – led critics to wonder if this was all part of a massive spying conspiracy.

The Obama administration’s directive to ease the rules on sharing intercepted communications across the government struck many critics as a political move to make it easier to leak information about the Trump campaign picked up during surveillance.

Was the increase in searches and unmasking of Americans a natural occurrence because of a greater authority granted to the NSA?

Or was it carried out because it was an election year?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.