President Donald Trump said his predecessor Barack Obama had to “know about” efforts to make sure he wouldn’t win the presidency.
“There was no crime. There was no collusion. The big thing’s collusion. Now, there’s no collusion,” Trump told ABC News’ “This Week” in an interview that aired Sunday. “That means they set – it was a setup – in my opinion, and I think it’s gonna come out.”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked if he thought Obama was behind the setup.
“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. 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,” Trump said.
In May, Trump issued a notice authorizing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any records linked to Trump campaign monitoring in 2016.
.@GStephanopoulos: “You clearly believe that there was a group of people working against you. Do you think Pres. Obama was behind it?”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 16, 2019
The Justice Department revealed last week it also was investigating the activities of several “non-governmental organizations and individuals.”
Fox News reported:
After Trump pointed out he had turned over more than a million documents and chose not to exert executive privilege over any aspect of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Stephanopoulos pressed Trump on his level of cooperation with investigators.
“You didn’t sit for an interview. You didn’t answer questions on obstruction,” Stephanopoulos, a former top aide to Bill Clinton, said.
“Now, wait a minute,” Trump shot back. “Wait a minute. I did answer questions. I answered them in writing.”
“Not on obstruction,” Stephanopoulos repeated twice.
“Look, George, you’re being a little wise guy, okay, which is, you know, typical for you,” Trump responded. “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 continued: “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,” referring to the former FBI agent and attorney.
After the president remarked that “a previous administration used the intelligence data and the intelligence agencies to spy on my campaign.” Stephanopoulos asked toward the end of the interview, “Do you believe that President Obama spied on your campaign?”
“I don’t know,” Trump said. “But, hopefully we’re gonna find out.”
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