President Trump said he took calls from two foreign leaders on Thursday expressing concern about his decision to declassify Russia investigation-related documents.
Trump spoke with Fox News’ Sean Hannity for a quick interview before he took the stage for a Make America Great Again rally in Las Vegas Thursday night with former adversary Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller.
Hannity told the president about a story broken by The Hill’s John Solomon Thursday about recently unearthed text messages and emails showing that there was not unanimous agreement in the intelligence community regarding the intelligence assessment on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“I’m not surprised,” Trump said, pointing out that his campaign was being spied on as far back as the primaries.
“It has to come to an end — it’s so bad for our country,” he declared. “I call it the ‘witch hunt.’ It is so bad for our country,” he repeated. He expressed his disappointment in fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI Director James Comey, whose lies and leaks led to their downfalls. “It’s got to come to an end. So bad for our country,” he said again.
Hannity asked the president how soon he thought the Department of Justice and FBI would declassify the Russia investigation documents, which include the Carter Page FISA application and text messages and emails of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.
“We’re moving along, we’re working along,” he said. “We’re also dealing with foreign countries that do have a problem, I must tell you.”
Trump added: “I got called today from two very good allies saying, ‘please, can we talk?’ — so it’s not as simple as all that and we do have to respect their wishes,” he said. “But it will all come out.”
Since his sentencing hearing earlier this month, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos has been telling everyone who’ll listen that he thinks he was set up in London with the help of British and Australian intelligence operatives.
I repeat: the British and Australian governments were illegally spying on the Trump Campaign by April 2016. Let that sink in.
— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) September 20, 2018
In an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum Tuesday, he said that in hindsight, his meetings with officials prior to his meeting in a London bar with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer seemed “incredibly suspicious” and that the meeting was “completely controlled.” He insisted that he’d “never knowingly met” with an actual Russian in his life, but he had met with an awful lot of Western officials who seemed peculiarly interested in him after he joined the Trump campaign.
Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in jail for lying to the FBI about the timing of his meeting with Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor who peddled dirt on Hillary Clinton and is now feared dead.
On January 23, just a few days after Trump was sworn in, Robert Hannigan, the director of the British intelligence agency GCHQ, resigned from his post. The British media at the time expressed shock that the intel boss had quit after just two years. GCHQ told the UK Telegraph at the time that Hannigan, who was only 51 at the time, had left his post for “personal reasons” and had not been “sacked or subject to disciplinary proceedings.”