Before leaving the White House on Friday, May 24, for Japan, President Trump spoke with reporters on the issue of sending more troops to the Middle East, and declassifying documents pertaining to the origins of the Russia probe.
President Trump said, “So we want to be very transparent. So as you know, I declassified everything, everything they want. I put it under the auspices of the attorney general. He’s going to be in charge of it. He’s a great gentleman and a highly respected man. So everything that they need is declassified and they’ll be able to see how this hoax, how the hoax or witch hunt started and why it started. It was a, an attempted coup or an attempt to take down the president of the United States. It should never ever happen to anybody else. So it’s very important. Now, people have been asking me to declassify for a long period of time. I’ve decided to do it and you’re going to learn a lot. I hope it’s going to be nice. But perhaps it won’t be.”
The president said it could run up to “millions of pages” and said he wanted to declassify FBI and CIA documents, including those that might pertain to contacts overseas in the United Kingdom.
Trump’s comments come a day after he granted Attorney General William Barr new powers to review and potentially release classified information.
The president ordered the U.S. intelligence community to “quickly and fully cooperate” with Barr’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.
President Trump also defended his remarks about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday as the war of words between the two leaders escalated, saying, “She made horrible statements. She knows they’re not true. She said terrible things. So I just responded in kind.”
President Trump also told reporters that the United States will be sending more troops to the Middle East. Their mission would include protecting U.S. forces already in the region and ensuring freedom of navigation, the notification said. President Trump said, “We’ll be sending about 1,500 very talented people to the region for protection.”
Earlier this week, officials said Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners hadn’t settled on a figure.
The United States began reinforcing its presence in the Persian Gulf region this month in response to what it said was a threat from Iran.