Trump Calls Latest NYT Hit Piece a 'Great Insult,' Hints Russia Collusion Hoax Will Backfire on Perps
President Trump called a recent New York Times article revealing that he had been the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation after he fired former director James Comey "very horrible" and a "great insult." And he blasted the Times, calling it a "disaster of a newspaper." The president also hinted that the Russia collusion "hoax" would soon backfire badly on the perpetrators, including some individuals whom he didn't identify because it would make "front page news" if he did. "You watch," he said.
Trump called in to Fox News' "Justice with Judge Jeanine" Saturday night to discuss a variety of topics, including the southern border and the Times article.
The president had nothing new to offer on the government shutdown or border wall dispute, as the Democrats have not been "acting responsibly," he said.
"We have a humanitarian crisis, to put it mildly," the president told Pirro. "People are trying to get in by the tens of thousands."
Yet, he noted that many Democrats this weekend jetted off to Puerto Rico to watch a performance of the Broadway play Hamilton.
"I’m in the White House, and most of them are in different locations. They’re watching a certain musical in a very nice location," he complained.
Pirro went on to ask Trump to respond to the Times report alleging that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation the day after he fired Comey in May of 2017.
She pointed out that the investigation was looking into whether the president was "actively working for Russia" and asked, "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"
"I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written. And if you read the article, you’d see that they found absolutely nothing."
The president noted that "the failing New York Times" has been getting him wrong for many years.
He said that he fired Comey because he was "a terrible liar, and he did a terrible job as the FBI director" and called the former director's handling of the Clinton email probe "one of the biggest screw-ups that anybody’s ever seen as an investigation."
The president also pointed out that the miscreants involved in the counterintelligence investigation were eventually fired themselves.
"Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, his lover, Lisa Page, they did it. And, you know, they’re all gone. Most of those people, many, many people from the top ranks of the FBI, they’ve all been fired or they had to leave. And they’re all gone," he said, adding cryptically, "This is what they were talking about, and obviously, nothing was found." The president was probably referring to former FBI special agent Peter Strzok's text message to former FBI lawyer Lisa Page that referred to an "insurance policy" in case Trump got elected.
The president went on to note that he's been tougher on Russia than other presidents.
"So I think it was a great insult," he said. "And The New York Times is a disaster as a paper. It’s a very horrible thing they said, and they’ve gone so far that people that weren’t necessarily believers are now big believers because they said that was a step too far. They really are a disaster of a newspaper."
Pirro asked the president about a Washington Post story that alleged he went to unusual lengths to keep his conversations with President Putin private.
Trump said the story was "ridiculous."
"I had a conversation like every president does. You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries," he explained. "We had a great conversation. We were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of other things. And it was a great conversation. I’m not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn’t care less," he said. "I mean, it’s so ridiculous. These people make it up."
The president went on to call "the whole Russia thing" a "terrible hoax" and a "waste of time."
Pirro agreed and asked the president how he deals with it all.
"What keeps you going? I mean, you’ve got such fight in you, it is unbelievable," she said.
"Well, I guess I have good genes," Trump replied, laughing. "Because I’m going through all of this nonsense. It’s all nonsense, but I have to be careful because these are dirty players. They’re no good," he added.
The president said the spectacle surrounding his former lawyer Michael Cohen has been "sad to watch."
"And in order to get his sentence reduced, he says, 'I have an idea, I’ll tell — I’ll give you some information on the president,'" the president explained.
"Well, there is no information," Trump declared, adding that investigators should actually take a look at Cohen's father-in-law.
"So, it’s pretty sad. You know, it’s weak and it’s very sad to watch a thing like that," he lamented, but added, "I couldn’t care less."
"What is his father-in-law’s name?" Pirro asked.
"I don’t know, but you’ll find out, and you’ll look into it because nobody knows what’s going on over there," Trump replied.
"They broke into his law firm sometime early in the morning, I guess, and they took — this couldn’t happen to anybody except you’re dealing with McCabe, you’re dealing with the remnants of Comey."
Trump then hinted that the Russia collusion "hoax" will backfire badly on the perpetrators, including some that he could not name.
"And wait until you see how it all ends up, you watch," he said. "McCabe, Lisa Page, Strzok, wait until you see how that all ends up, including some others that I could name, but I better not. We’ll make front page news if I do."
He told Pirro that he will release the entire FISA memo "at the right time."
"If that’s necessary, we’ll do that," Trump said.
The president dodged Pirro's question about whether his lawyers would try to prevent the Mueller report from being made public.
"Well, I can’t tell you because I don’t devote too much time. Here’s the bottom line: there was no collusion. There was no obstruction. There was no anything. So, you know, no calls to Russia. No nothing. So, you know, it’s all nonsense, Jeanine,"
"It’s all — it’s a hoax. It’s called the Russian hoax or witch, you know, it’s a witch hunt. And it’s a shame."
Despite this, he suggested there is a positive side to it all because they've been able to smoke out some corrupt individuals in the FBI and DOJ.
"People are being exposed by this that are totally corrupt. A lot of the people that don’t get mentioned even in that article today, the phony article in The New York Times, there’s a lot of corruption, and we’re exposing it. And I’m going to put that down someday as one of my greatest achievements," he declared.