Kirsters’ Opinion| Just a day after officially launching his 2020 presidential candidacy bid, President Donald Trump spoke to Fox News Network’s Sean Hannity, exclusively telling him that “investigators are working to determine whether his personal phone calls were secretly monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies during the 2016 campaign — a possibility he called ‘the ultimate,'” according to Fox.
The President drilled House Democrats after they put his former leading communications advisor Hope Hicks “through hell,” when photos of her testifying in front of a closed-door committee on Capitol Hill were leaked on social media.
Fox explains, “Hicks is the Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Fox Corporation, and Fox News is a subsidiary of Fox Corporation.”
“What’s happened to the Democrats — and in the meantime, they’re not doing any work in Congress,” the President told Sean Hannity, going on to label the party as “unhinged.”
“They’re not allowed to do that. It’s probably illegal,” he said, speaking of the leaked photographs of Hicks.
Some Democrats complained that Hicks, in her appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, was ordered by the White House to stay quiet about her time as an aide to Trump, citing legal privileges.
But, Trump condemned Democrats’ ongoing hearings on collusion and obstruction as an attempt at a “do-over” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
“Take a look at Ukraine,” the President said. “How come the FBI didn’t take the server from the DNC? Just think about that one, Sean.” That was a reference to the DNC’s decision in 2016 to turn over its server to the private security firm Crowdstrike, rather than the FBI, after what prosecutors said was a Russian-led hack.
Early on Wednesday, the Hill’s John Solomon reported that the FBI, in their search for warrant affidavits, “relied heavily on leaked Ukrainian financial documents concerning former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — even though the bureau was repeatedly warned that the documents were untrustworthy and likely fake,” according to Fox.
Via Fox News:
Earlier this year, Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko opened a probe into the so-called “black ledger” files that led to Manafort’s abrupt departure from the Trump campaign. The investigation commenced after an unearthed audio recording showed that a senior Ukrainian anticorruption official apparently admitted to leaking Manafort’s financial information in 2016 — including his ties to pro-Russian actors in Ukraine — to benefit Clinton.
A Ukrainian court recently ruled that the Manafort leak amounted to illegal interference in the U.S. election. A 2017 investigation by Politico found that Ukrainian officials not only publicly sought to undermine Trump by questioning his fitness for office, but also worked behind the scenes to secure a Clinton victory.
Trump told Hannity the episode was hardly surprising, given that the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee (DNC), through the firm Fusion GPS, funded British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s creation of an unverified and largely discredited dossier. The FBI went on to cite the dossier in secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court applications to surveil former Trump aide Carter Page.
“I think it’s a disgrace,” the President said.