In an interview with The Hill on Tuesday, President Trump said that even though he and his administration have accomplished great things over the last two years on the economy, national security, immigration, and more, the move he made this week could be one of the “crowning achievements” of his tenure in office.
Speaking in reference to the executive order he sent out this week demanding that the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declassify reams of documents related to the Russia investigation, Trump said he was doing “a great service to the country.”
“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 told The Hill.
Trump said that the FBI’s attempts to fool the FISA court into issuing a warrant against an American citizen was among the most disgusting things he’d witnessed in government
“They know this is one of the great scandals in the history of our country because 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,” Trump said. “They used Carter Page as a foil in order to surveil a candidate for the presidency of the United States.”
Among the documents that President Trump has ordered declassified and released are more than 21 pages of the application the FBI sent in for FISA approval. From what we’ve already seen of that application, we know that the Department of Justice severely downplayed the political origins of the Steele dossier, which was used as the primary selling point for the warrant against Carter Page. It is, of course, worth noting that despite many months of surveillance and multiple re-ups of the warrant, the FBI has yet to charge Page with a single crime.
“It’s a hoax, beyond a witch hunt,” Trump told The Hill.
As for why he was making the decision to release the documents now, the president indicated that he was doing it because investigators in Congress has been asking him for the favor.
“I have had many people ask me to release them,” Trump said. Not that I didn’t like the idea but I wanted to wait, I wanted to see where it was all going. All I want to do is be transparent.”
While some have characterized Trump’s war on the FBI’s top echelon as a disgrace, the president doesn’t see it that way.
“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,” he said.