Trump says FBI 'plotting against my election’
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump disputed findings by the Justice Department on Friday that former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe was not politically motivated, declaring that the FBI was biased “at the top level” and “plotting against my election.”
The department’s inspector general report, while critical of the FBI and Comey personally, did not find evidence that political bias tainted the investigation of Clinton’s email practices in the months and days leading up to Trump’s election.
But on Friday, after tweeting that he did a “great service” to the nation by firing Comey, Trump marched out to the White House North Lawn to talk with “Fox & Friends” for more than half an hour, claiming the report “totally” exonerated him, then pointing to accomplishments he said he’s achieved and complaining about not getting proper credit.
Then he turned to other reporters and went over the same list for another 20 minutes.
On the inspector general report that found no political bias in the FBI’s final conclusions, he said, “The end result was wrong. There was total bias.”
“Comey was the ring leader of this whole, you know, den of thieves. It was a den of thieves,” he said.
Trump’s comments followed the IG’s 500-page report that said Comey was “insubordinate” in his handling of the Clinton investigation because he broke agency protocol. The report also rebuked FBI officials for exchanging anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 campaign.
But it said, “We found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations; rather, we determined that they were based on the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts, the law and past department practice.”
Trump’s supporters have argued that the findings are proof of political bias at the FBI’s highest levels that then tainted the Russia investigation, first led by the FBI and now by special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller’s probe includes a look into whether Trump himself tried to obstruct justice by firing Comey.
Trump said Friday, as he has before, that the Mueller probe, too, “has been totally discredited.”
“The IG Report is a total disaster for Comey, his minions and sadly, the FBI,” Trump tweeted earlier. “Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him. Good Instincts.”