Trump: Exposing 'corrupt' FBI probe could be a 'crowning achievement.'
President Donald Trump denounced the FBI once again in an interview, describing the bureau’s probe into Russian ties to the Trump campaign as a “cancer in our country.”
“I hope to be able to put this up as one of my crowning achievements that I was able to... expose something that is truly a cancer in our country,” Trump told The Hill when asked what he thought the outcome of his feud with the FBI would be.
The Hill’s Josh Solomon and Buck Sexton interviewed Trump in the Oval Office, and the president was typically bellicose. He eviscerated Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying “I don’t have an attorney general,” and spoke about the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s potential collusion with Russia.
“What we’ve done is a great service to the country, really,” Trump said in a 45-minute, wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office.
“I hope to be able to call this, along with tax cuts and regulation and all the things I’ve done… in its own way this might be the most important thing because this was corrupt,” he said.
Trump also said he regretted not firing former FBI Director James Comey immediately instead of waiting until May 2017, confirming an account his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gave Hill.TV that Trump was dismayed in 2016 by the way Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email case and began discussing firing him well before he became president.
“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries,” Trump said. “I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don’t want him there when I get there.”
Trump has offered different reasons in the past for his firing of the FBI chief, blaming Comey’s handling of the Clinton case but also linking it to Comey’s actions in the Russian investigation.
The president also called into question the FBI’s handling of the Russian investigation, again criticizing it for surveilling his campaign.
He criticizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court’s approval of the warrant that authorized surveillance of Carter Page, a low-level Trump campaign aide, toward the end of the 2016 election, suggesting the FBI misled the court.
The president spared no words in criticizing Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, lawyer Lisa Page and other FBI officials who started the probe. He recited specific text messages Page and Strzok traded while having an affair and investigating his campaign, arguing the texts showed they condoned leaks and conducted a bogus probe.He denounced the FBI for leaking to create what he said was a false narrative against him, saying it appeared to be an “insurance policy” to destroy his presidency if he won.