President Donald Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday that the special counsel’s Russia investigation was an attempted “coup.” He also noted the 2016 texts between former FBI officials discussing who from the White House they could “develop potential relationships” with were evidence of such efforts.
“This was a coup. This was an attempted overthrow of the United States government,” Trump said of Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.
The President was responding to a Fox News report about the texts exchanged between former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and former FBI agent Peter Strzok, which he maintained only proved a plot against him regardless of the fact that the report clearly says it is unclear whether the two sought “to engineer the briefings to investigate Trump and his associates” or only wanted to “build bridges with the incoming administration.”
Later on, Trump revisited the issue and said that Mueller’s two-year investigation was even bigger than Watergate because it “wasn’t stealing information from an office in the Watergate apartments, this was an attempted coup.”
The Hill informs that during the interview, Trump compared the investigation to something that would only happen in a “third world country,” calling it “inconceivable.” He also accused Strzok and many others of treason.
The report on the special counsel’s investigation was released at the beginning of this month and it did not find any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. However, it did conclude that Russia interfered with the 2016 election in “sweeping and systematic fashion” with the goal of electing Trump.
After the release of the report, Trump and his political allies declared victory, saying it proved “no collusion, no obstruction.”
On the issue of obstruction, Mueller’s investigators detailed 10 potential cases of obstruction of justice but did not make a definite conclusion on the issue.