In recent remarks, President Donald Trump indicated that former President Obama “certainly must have known about” the high-level efforts by intelligence operatives and the FBI to undermine his presidency.
Trump’s interview with George Stephanopoulos, anchor of ABC News’ “This Week” was filled with accusations about Obama and the undermining of Trump’s presidency. While Trump seems certain of the devious scheme he was a victim of, the president indicated that the real truth would be revealed soon, “I’m not gonna make that statement quite yet,” said Trump, but he did hint that more facts would come out soon.
The interview with Stephanopoulos, however, was still a revealing one. “You clearly believe there was a group of people working against you?” Stephanopoulos asked. “Do you think President Obama was behind it?”
“I would say that he certainly must have known about it because it went very high up in the chain,” Trump responded. “But, you’re gonna find that out. I’m not gonna make that statement quite yet. But I would say that President Obama had to know about it.”
President Trump granted permission to Attorney General William Barr in May via a memo indicating that he gave his authority to declassify any documents that are related to surveillance of his 2016 campaign.
Last week, the Justice Department revealed that their ongoing review of potential misconduct by U.S. intelligence agencies during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign required additional investigation of the activities of several “non-governmental organizations and individuals.”
Stephanopoulos questioned the president about his level of cooperation with investigators even after Trump indicated that he had already given them over a million documents without any attempt at all to exert executive privilege over any of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the report.
“You didn’t sit for an interview. You didn’t answer questions on obstruction,” Stephanopoulos said.
“Now, wait a minute,” Trump retaliated. “Wait a minute. I did answer questions. I answered them in writing.”
“Not on obstruction,” Stephanopoulos responded.
“Look, George, you’re being a little wise guy, okay, which is, you know, typical for you,” Trump said. “Just so you understand, very simple, it’s very simple, there was no crime. There was no collusion. The big thing’s collusion. Now, there’s no collusion. That means they set — it was a setup, in my opinion, and I think it’s gonna come out.”
Trump didn’t stop there.
“I hope it’s gonna come out. We are going to find out very soon because I really believe it’s gonna come out. When you look at [Peter] Strzok, these FBI guys that were lowlifes, when you look — ’cause the FBI’s the greatest. But these — the top people were absolutely lowlifes. When you look at Strzok and [Lisa] Page and they’re talking about an insurance policy just in case she loses, that was the insurance policy,” Trump said, referring to the former FBI agent and attorney.
“Do you believe that President Obama spied on your campaign?” Stephanopoulos asked at the close of the interview with President Trump after the president remarked that “a previous administration used the intelligence data and the intelligence agencies to spy on my campaign.”
“I don’t know,” Trump said. “But, hopefully we’re gonna find out.”