President Trump said on Wednesday night that the Department of Justice is actively investigating whether U.S. intelligence agencies secretly monitored his personal phone calls during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump said such a revelation would be “the ultimate.”
“The fact is, they were spying on my campaign, using intelligence agencies to do it,” Trump said. “We’re trying to figure out whether they listened to my calls. That would be the ultimate. We’ll see what happens. If that happens, we’ll probably find out.”
“If they spied on my campaign and they may have, it will be one of the great revelations in history of this country. It will be very interesting. I think we’re gonna find out,” Trump added.
The president also said Attorney General Bill Barr is working “very hard” to find out the facts.
“I think spying did occur,” Barr testified before Congress in April, adding that “I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.”
Officials in the Obama-Biden administration secured wiretapping warrants — with suspect backing — to spy on Trump, who they feared might just pull off the win in 2016. The authorization to spy on the campaign was approved by a secret court based on a bogus dossier funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The FBI later cited the phony dossier in secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court applications to allow surveillance of former Trump aide Carter Page.
“I think it’s a disgrace,” Trump said.
After Trump’s win, the dossier was used to impose a special counsel to investigate the spurious allegations that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the election. Following a 22-month probe, special counsel Robert Mueller found no collusion whatsoever.
“Anything the Russians did concerning the 2016 Election was done while Obama was President. He was told about it and did nothing! Most importantly, the vote was not affected,” Trump tweeted after Mueller’s report was released in April by the Justice Department.
In his lengthy interview with Hannity, Trump also condemned House Democrats for putting former top White House communications adviser Hope Hicks “through hell.” Although she testified Wednesday behind closed doors, photos were leaked on social media.
“They’re not allowed to do that. It’s probably illegal,” Trump said.
The president also said that because Democrats are fixated on thwarting him at every turn, nothing is getting done on Capitol Hill. “What’s happened to the Democrats — and in the meantime, they’re not doing any work in Congress,” Trump said, calling the party “unhinged.”
And Trump said that since the Mueller report came out, few are still talking about collusion. “I don’t hear Russia much anymore. You know, they’ve given up on that one,” Trump said.
Trump also defended his use of social media, which he said he uses so he can get his message out unfiltered by the mainstream media.
“When I make a speech, like last night — there was a fantastic woman in the front with a sign, ‘Please keep tweeting, it matters,'” Trump said. “And, I think it does matter. I don’t do it because I enjoy it. When somebody says an outright lie on MSNBC or CNN … I can counteract those lies, and I have many more followers than they do.”