Trump told ABC News that he believes Obama was aware of the spying operation that targeted his campaign in 2016. The president also said Clinton should be in jail for obstructing justice during the investigation into her use of an unauthorized email server.
When asked if he believes that Obama orchestrated the spy operation, Trump said Obama “certainly must have known about it.”
“But you’re going to find that out. I’m not going to make that statement quite yet. But I would say that President Obama had to know about it,” Trump said.
Messages between top FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page show that they provided regular briefings to the White House. The pair, who maintained an extramarital affair in 2016, expressed hatred toward Trump and support for Clinton while playing key roles in investigating both candidates.
“Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [redacted] quote, ‘the White House is running this,’” Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 5, 2016.
In testimony to Congress, Strzok denied that the message referred to the White House running the Trump campaign investigation.
“Yes, [because] POTUS [President of the United States] wants to know everything we are doing,” Page wrote to Strzok on Sept. 2, 2016.
In testimony to Congress, Page said the August and September messages deal with briefings to the White House that had to do with Russia’s broader campaign to interfere in the 2016 election and not the specific probe of the Trump campaign.
When ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Trump who the president thought set up the probe against his campaign, Trump responded: “I hope it’s going to come out. We’re going to find out very soon. Because I really believe it’s going to come out.
“When you look at Strzok, these FBI guys that were lowlifes … when you look at Strzok and Page, and they’re talking about an insurance policy just in case she [Clinton] loses.”
In an Aug. 15, 2016, message to Page, Strzok wrote: “I want to believe the path you threw out in [McCabe’s] office—that there’s no way he gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
Strzok and Page went on to briefly serve on the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, run by Robert Mueller. The special counsel officially closed the investigation in late May, finding no evidence to establish that Trump colluded with Russia.
Trump said that Clinton “should be in jail,” when answering a question about his son’s involvement in the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer who was supposedly offering to provide damaging information on Clinton. The lawyer didn’t provide any information on Clinton.
“That meeting was a big nothing,” he said. “But I heard about my son, who is a great young man, going to jail over a meeting where somebody said I have information on Hillary Clinton. She’s the one who should be in jail.”
“She deleted 33,000 emails … sent by the United States Congress. They gave a subpoena to Hillary Clinton for 33,000 emails. After the subpoena was gotten, she deleted them. That’s called obstruction. And her lawyer should also be .looked at because her lawyer—she’s got to have the greatest lawyer on earth because she does that, he did the deleting supposedly—not only did they delete, but they acid-washed them,” he added.
In 2015 and 2016, the FBI investigated Clinton’s use of an unauthorized private server for government work. The Justice Department prevented the bureau from pursuing gross negligence charges. The investigation was rife with inconsistencies, including FBI officials apparently ignoring a major lead.
Trump noted that Clinton is currently under investigation. “It’s being investigated, I assume, now,” he said.
Trump’s interview came several weeks after Attorney General William Barr revealed that the probe into Clinton is already “winding down.”
NTD reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.