President Donald Trump said Wednesday during an interview with TheHill.TV that he believes exposing corruption within the FBI — which he called “truly a cancer in our country” — could become the “crowning achievement” of his presidency.
“What we’ve done is a great service to the country, really,” Trump said in a 45-minute, wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office.
“I hope to be able to call this, along with tax cuts and regulation and all the things I’ve done ... in its own way this might be the most important thing because this was corrupt,” he said.
Trump also said it was a mistake to keep former FBI Director James Comey in his position as long as he did, wishing he had fired Comey much sooner.
“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries,” Trump said. “I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. ... I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don’t want him there when I get there.”
The president also went after former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, lawyer Lisa Page and other FBI officials during the interview — all of whom were involved from the beginning of the Russian investigation.
He recited specific text messages Page and Strzok traded while having an affair and investigating his campaign, arguing the texts showed they condoned leaks and conducted a bogus probe.
Those texts are to be released as a result of Trump’s announcement on Monday.
“It’s a hoax, beyond a witch hunt,” he said.
He denounced the FBI for leaking to create what he said was a false narrative against him, saying it appeared to be an “insurance policy” to destroy his presidency if he won.
Trump said he has not read the documents he declassified, but he anticipates they will reveal the political “hoax” perpetrated against him by the FBI.
Asked what he thought the outcome of his long-running fight with the FBI, the president said: “I hope to be able put this up as one of my crowning achievements that I was able to ... expose something that is truly a cancer in our country.”