Trump: Watchdog report shows FBI ‘attempted overthrow’ of government

President Trump on Monday hailed a new report from the Justice Department inspector general, claiming it showed FBI officials attempted “an overthrow of government” by investigating his 2016 presidential campaign.

“This was an overthrow of government, this was an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it and they got caught, they got caught red-handed,” Trump said in the Cabinet Room at the White House during a roundtable event on education.

“I think I’m going to put this down as one of our great achievements. Because what we found and what we saw — never, ever should this happen again in our country,” Trump continued.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s lengthy report issued Monday, however, said that FBI agents were not motivated by political bias in deciding to open investigations into Trump campaign associates and aides during 2016 as part of the probe into Russia’s election interference, undercutting a key talking point put forth by Trump and his Republican allies.

Horowitz also found that the FBI had an “authorized purpose” to launch the investigation, a conclusion that Attorney General William Barr disagreed with on Monday in a public statement.

Horowitz’s report also criticized the FBI’s handling of applications for warrants to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The watchdog outlined seven “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI’s application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to monitor Page, some of them related to the FBI’s assertions or omissions regarding information they received from ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who authored the Trump-Russia dossier. 

Republicans have seized on those revelations as evidence of wrongdoing by top officials at the FBI, while Democrats have described the report as bucking Trump’s long held claim that the Russia investigation was a politically driven “witch hunt” against him.

Trump, who said he had just been briefed on the contents of the report, said Monday afternoon that details of the report were “far worse than anything I would have even imagined.”

“Well, they fabricated evidence and they lied to the courts and they did all sorts of things to have it go their way,” Trump said at the White House. “And this was something we can never allow to happen again.”

The president also invited new White House hire Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general, to speak about the report briefly during the roundtable event. Bondi claimed career law enforcement were “outraged” by its contents.

“It’s a horrible day for the country that this could happen to the president of the United States,” Bondi said, alleging that agents fabricated and falsified emails, lied and omitted exculpatory evidence in order to “continue this witch hunt” against Trump.

Tags 2016 Russian election interference Donald Trump FISA Special Counsel investigation William Barr

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video