President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he considers “getting rid” of the FBI officials who led the Trump-Russia probe to be one of his “greatest achievements” in office.
“These were dirty people. These were bad people. These were evil people, and I hope that someday I’m going to consider it my greatest, or one of my greatest achievements, getting rid of them,” Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago, where he is on Christmas vacation.
Trump initially responded to a question about whether he is considering a pardon for Roger Stone, the longtime GOP operative who was indicted in the special counsel’s investigation on charges of making false statements to Congress.
Stone, who worked briefly on the Trump campaign and has known Trump for decades, was convicted on Nov. 15.
Trump said that he has yet to consider a pardon for Stone, but that he believes he was treated “very unfair” in the special counsel’s case.
“I haven’t thought of it. I think it’s very tough what they did to Roger Stone, compared to what they do to other people on their side,” Trump said.
“Now they’re finding out it was a big hoax. They’re finding out it was a horrible thing. We were spied on, my campaign was spied on,” Trump said.
Trump did not specifically identify whom at the FBI he is glad to have ousted. Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017. Andrew McCabe, who served as FBI deputy director, was fired on March 16, 2018, after the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Justice Department’s inspector general found that he lacked candor during interviews about the authorization of media leaks in October 2016. (RELATED: DOJ Watchdog Puts Final Nail In Steele Dossier Coffin)
Peter Strzok, the former deputy chief of counterintelligence, was fired on Aug. 10, 2018 over anti-Trump text messages he exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Page resigned from the bureau on May 4, 2018.
Strzok was the lead investigator on Crossfire Hurricane, the counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign. Comey and McCabe were also directly involved in the investigation.
The Justice Department’s inspector general found that the FBI made “significant inaccuracies” in applications for surveillance warrants against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The FBI relied heavily on the Steele dossier to obtain the warrants, even though investigators had evidence that undermined dossier author Christopher Steele’s credibility.
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