The White House on Thursday insisted that the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election meddling was a “witch hunt” — despite the FBI director’s statement a day earlier that it was not.
“They found no evidence of collusion and [Trump] still strongly believes it’s a witch hunt. I’m not sure how we could be any more clear, and certainly not sure how the president could be any more clear about his beliefs and opinions,” spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Trump earlier Thursday lashed out over reports that FBI informants had infiltrated his presidential campaign, saying that “if so, this is bigger than Watergate!”
Trump’s comments came on the one-year anniversary of Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel to head the Justice Department probe into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the president’s campaign.
Trump has variously described Mueller’s investigation as a “hoax,” fake news” and “witch hunt,” while also frequently tweeting ‘NO COLLUSION!”
“Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI ‘SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT,’” Trump railed on Twitter.
“Andrew McCarthy says, ‘There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.’ If so, this is bigger than Watergate!”
Trump’s tweets came a day after his hand-picked FBI director, Christopher Wray, told a Senate committee that Mueller’s probe was not a witch hunt.
Wray also slammed GOP House members who are demanding that the bureau hand over documents that could reveal the identity of confidential sources.
“The day that we can’t protect human sources is the day the American people start becoming less safe,” Wray told the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Human sources in particular who put themselves at great risk to work with us and with our foreign partners have to be able to trust that we’re going to protect their identities and in many cases their lives and the lives of their families.”
McCarthy, a contributing editor at the conservative National Review, wrote an article published last week headlined “Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign?”
The New York Times reported separately this week that at least one government informant met several times with Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, both former foreign policy advisers on Trump’s campaign. The newspaper attributed the information to current and former FBI officials.
Meanwhile, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani contended that the president still wants to testify in the Russia probe.
Speaking Thursday on “Fox and Friends,” he said Trump will only sit down with Mueller if “we feel there’s a way to shorten this thing.”
He added that Trump remains eager to offer his “side of the case.”
Giuliani has been demanding that Mueller’s team wrap up the investigation now that the probe has reached the one-year mark.
Mueler could subpoena Trump if the president refused to testify, which could lead the commander-in-chief to plead the Fifth Amendment.
But the president is on record saying that only guilty people plead the Fifth.
The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report the day before that said Russian strongman Vladimir Putin ordered the interference in the US election to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.
With Post Wires