President Trump said his decision to declassify some key FBI documents linked to the special counsel investigation into links between his 2016 campaign and Russia may be his “crowning achievement” to expose the FBI’s “hoax” probe.
“What we’ve done is a great service to the country, really,” Trump told The Hill.
“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,” the president added.
Trump ordered the Department of Justice to release three sets of documents, emails linked to former FBI leaders and one current Justice Department official, along with documents that led to the nearly year-long surveillance of former Trump aide Carter Page starting in October of 2016.
Trump told The Hill the FBI used Page as “a foil in order to surveil a candidate for the presidency of the United States.”
“It’s a hoax,” President Trump continued, “beyond a witch hunt.”
The president has repeatedly attacked the special counsel investigation into his 2016 campaign and Russian ties, along with maligning his Department of Justice and intelligence agencies like the FBI.
House Republicans have been calling for the release of these documents for a while now but the Justice Department was hesitant to release them due to their links with the ongoing Robert Mueller-led investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian ties.
John Solomon, the reporter who interviewed Trump for The Hill, went on Fox News and said the president was taking a “leap of faith” by releasing the documents.
“He hasn’t even read the documents,” Solomon said of Trump. “He’s taking a leap of faith that the American public will appreciate the transparency… He believes this is the right thing to do and he believes that when we see these documents, we’re going to find out that the FBI did not act in the best interests of the United States.”
Reluctantly, the Justice Department has already started working with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to release the documents to the public.
“When the President issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests,” a Justice Department statement said.