As impeachment proceedings continued on Capitol Hill, President Trump responded Monday to the long-awaited release of the Justice Department inspector general's report into the handling of the Russia investigation. The report found procedural errors in the investigation, but overall "no political bias" by the FBI, undercutting Trump ally arguments.
Still, Mr. Trump claimed the report shows the investigation was an attempted overthrow of the government. The treatment of his campaign, the president said, was "far worse than I would have ever thought possible."
"Well, they fabricated evidence, and they lied to the courts, and they did all sorts of things to have it go their way," the president told those present at the White House meeting. "And this was something that, uh, we can never allow to happen again. The report actually, and especially when you look into it, and the details of the report are far worse than anything I would have even imagined. What they were doing and what they would have done, if I didn't make a certain move - a certain move that was a very important move. Because it would have been even worse, if that's possible. and they might have been able to succeed."
"This was an overthrow of government. This was an attempted overthrow, and a lot of people were in on it, and they got caught. they got caught red-handed. ... And it's an incredible thing that happened, and we're lucky we caught them. I think I'm going to put this down as one of our great achievements, because what we found, and what we saw - never ever should this happen again in our country."
The review by Michael Horowitz, the inspector general for the Justice Department, also found the FBI was justified in launching the July 2016 investigation, known as "Crossfire Hurricane."
Horowitz was tasked with probing the legality and legitimacy of an October 2016 surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, which explored his alleged contact with Russian officials.