The inspector general’s report on the origins of the Russia investigation, including whether a campaign aide to President Donald Trump was improperly surveilled by the FBI, turned up two important points on Monday afternoon.
First: that the FBI did indeed provide a FISA court with evidence that had “significant inaccuracies and omissions.” And second: that, in spite of these issues, there was “authorized purpose” to investigate and surveil Carter Page in 2016, based on the suspicion that he may have had inappropriate contacts with Russian agents while simultaneously serving on Trump’s campaign team.
Despite the IG’s findings, Trump on Monday spoke to reporters as if the report vindicated his viewpoints, that the investigation was inappropriate and even an attempt to take over the government by the investigators who were involved.
“I was just briefed on it,” Trump said on Monday afternoon. “It’s a disgrace what happened, with respect to the things that were done to our country. It should never again happen to another president. It is incredible, far worse than I would ever thought possible. It’s an embarrassment to our country.”
Trump on the IG report: "It is incredible. Far worse than I ever would've thought possible. It's an embarrassment to our country, it's dishonest. It's everything that a lot of people thought it would be, except far worse." pic.twitter.com/YHDixxv61r
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 9, 2019
Trump’s words, skimpy on the details, led some to believe he didn’t understand what was inside the report at all, or hadn’t actually been briefed on its contents — some social media users even suggested Trump didn’t know how to read, Raw Story reported.
The president also stated that the surveillance of Page, during Trump’s presidential run, was an “attempted overthrow” of the government, NBC News reported. At the time the surveillance took place, Trump was not a government official of any kind.
Trump’s words seem to indicate that the spin from the right will ignore the report’s key findings regarding the justifications that existed to put a wiretap on Page. Several right-wing media are already reporting on the missteps of the FBI without delving into the more important details that were uncovered by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.