President Donald Trump said Tuesday that one of the “crowning achievements” of his presidency would be exposing what he claims is a “hoax” FBI investigation into collusion between his campaign and Russia.
“I hope to be able 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 said of the FBI probe in an interview with Hill.TV.
Trump was commenting on his decision to order the declassification of a trove of FBI and Justice Department documents related to the collusion probe.
On Monday, the Republican ordered the Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence to begin the process to declassify portions of a FISA warrant taken out against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as well as FBI interview notes used in the investigation.
In a surprise move, Trump also ordered the release of text messages sent by former FBI officials James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
“What we’ve done is a great service to the country, really,” Trump said of the decision to declassify.
“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.”
Trump called the surveillance of Carter Page “one of the great scandals in the history of our country.”
“Basically what they did is, they used Carter Page, who nobody even knew, who I feel very badly for, I think he’s been treated very badly. They used Carter Page as a foil in order to surveil a candidate for the presidency of the United States,” said Trump.
The FBI relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier to obtain four FISA warrants to spy on Page, an energy consultant who joined the Trump campaign in March 2016. Page has vehemently denied the claims made against him in the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Congressional Republicans have accused the FBI of abusing the FISA process by citing the dossier. To help make the case, a small group of Republicans have pressed Trump to declassify the documents, which he told The Hill he has yet to read.
Trump said that he believes that judges on the FISA Court “have been misled.”
“I mean I don’t think we have to go much further than to say that they’ve been misled.”