President Trump told Fox News’ “Hannity” in a wide-ranging interview Thursday night that Attorney General Bill Barr is handling the “incredible” and “big” new revelations that Ukrainian actors apparently leaked damaging information about then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Last month, Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko opened a probe into the so-called “black ledger” files that led to Manafort’s abrupt departure from the Trump campaign. The investigation commenced after an unearthed audio recording showed that a senior Ukrainian anticorruption official apparently admitted to leaking Manafort’s financial information in 2016 — including his ties to pro-Russian actors in Ukraine — to benefit Clinton.
Ukrainian law enforcement officials said earlier this month they have a slew of evidence of collusion and wrongdoing by Democrats, and that they have been trying to share this information with U.S. officials in the Justice Department. A Ukrainian court recently ruled that the Manafort leak amounted to illegal interference in the U.S. election.
Asked by host Sean Hannity whether Americans need to see the results of Ukraine’s ongoing investigation into whether officials in that country worked with the Clinton team, Trump replied, “I think we do.”
The leak of damaging financial information on former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s links to pro-Russia actors in Ukraine led to his departure from the Trump team. Now, it’s the subject of a Ukrainian probe into possible Clinton collusion.
“I would imagine [Barr] would want to see this. … I would certainly defer to the attorney general, and we’ll see what he says about it,” Trump said. “He calls ’em straight.”
Trump continued: “It sounds like big stuff, very interesting with Ukraine. I just spoke with the new president a while ago, and congratulated him. … But that sounds like big, big stuff, and I’m not surprised.”
With those remarks, Trump echoed his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: “Keep your eye on Ukraine.”
A 2017 investigation by Politico found that Ukrainian officials not only publicly sought to undermine Trump by questioning his fitness for office, but also worked behind the scenes to secure a Clinton victory.
Among other initiatives, Politico found, the Ukrainian government worked with a DNC consultant to conduct opposition research against Trump, including going after Manafort for Russian ties, helping lead to his resignation.
Trump also unloaded on former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, following a Fox News report earlier in the day concerning newly revealed internal text messages between the two.
The messages indicated they discussed using briefings to the Trump team after the 2016 election to identify people they could “develop for potential relationships,” track lines of questioning and “assess” changes in “demeanor” – language one GOP lawmaker called “more evidence” of irregular conduct in the original Russia probe.
“They were trying to infiltrate the administration,” Trump told host Sean Hannity. “Really, it’s a coup. It’s spying. It’s hard to believe in this country we would have had that.”
Trump continued: “I think it’s far bigger than Watergate, I think it’s possibly the biggest scandal in political history in this country, maybe beyond political.”
rump summed up the development as “very disconcerting” and emphasized that Strzok and Page used their government-issued phones not only to exchange numerous anti-Trump text messages but also to hide their extramarital affair from their spouses.
“They were going hog wild to find something about the administration, which obviously wasn’t there,” Trump charged, referring to Strzok and Page as “two beauties,” “lovers,” and “sick, sick people” who are “like children, when you look at them.”
“They’re trying to infiltrate the White House, long after the election,” Trump said. “This is a disgrace. Hopefully the attorney general will do what’s right, and I believe he will. … It’s possibly the greatest scandal in the history of this country.”
Read More On FoxNews