President Donald Trump fired back at the Obama administration — targeting both former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden by name — over their “unmasking” of former national security advisor Michael Flynn in a Sunday morning interview with Fox Business.
Flynn’s unmasking has been a hot topic since last week, when acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified documents relating to Obama-era inquiries about Trump campaign and transition team activities. The documents show a number of Obama officials, including Obama and Biden, but also U.N. ambassadors Susan Rice and Samantha Power, petitioning intelligence agencies to reveal the names of Trump team members who had communicated with a Russian diplomat under surveillance.
Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to charges he lied to the FBI — charges that the Justice Department now says should be dropped — after new evidence surfaced that FBI officials may have walked Flynn into a “perjury trap,” tricking him into lying to investigators.
Trump noted, Sunday, that he believes the Obama administration planned to construct a narrative around the incoming Trump administration, tying it to Russian efforts to impact the outcome of the 2016 presidential election — and that the FBI’s and DOJ’s target wasn’t Flynn, it was Trump himself.
“They weren’t after General Flynn. They wanted him to lie about me, make up a story,” Trump told “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo. “And with few exceptions, nobody did that.”
Trump also pointed out that he’s receiving disparate treatment from the press on the issue.
“If I were a Democrat instead of a Republican, I think everybody would have been in jail a long time ago; and I’m talking with 50-year sentences.” he said.
“It is a disgrace what’s happened. This is the greatest political scam, hoax in the history of our country,” Trump continued. “People should be going to jail for this stuff and hopefully a lot of people are going to have to pay.“
Trump went on to call Flynn a hero for enduring the Obama-era DOJ’s investigation: “No other president should have to go through [this] and I’ll tell you, General Flynn and others are heroes.”
Ultimately, Trump pinned the blame on the former president and his right hand man.
“This was all Obama. This was all Biden. These people were corrupt,” Trump said. “The whole thing was corrupt and we caught them.”
Trump has called Flynn’s unmasking “criminal” and has said, several times, that he believes those responsible for targeting Flynn should be charged with a crime. Former Obama officials have responded that “unmasking” is “routine,” even though, in this case, it seems a number of requests were made to unmask specific individuals and that the Trump campaign received a surprising amount of attention from a large number of people in positions of power.
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