President Trump says that Obama must have known about the “setup” to block his path to the White House.
ABC News reported that George Stephanopoulos asked the president questions that Robert Mueller never had a chance to ask him. But first, to underscore the significance of what we have already heard from the president, he did not see a problem accepting help from a foreign country, an adversary, even, to win a second term. And if he received that kind of offer, he may or may not tell the FBI about it.
That comment surprised even some of the president’s closest allies. But it was also classic Donald Trump, bluntly saying exactly what was on his mind without regard for the political repercussions. Prominent Republicans have stepped forward to disagree with the president on this and Senate Democrats tried to pass a bill that would make it a crime to fail to report interference in an election.
The president has since sought to clarify his comments. He called into Fox and Friends to say he would review the material from a foreign entity and report it if it was, quote, something bad. But then this weekend he tweeted that he enjoyed his interview with George and, quote, I think I will do many more network interviews, sending the message he’s not worried about the backlash.
President Trump’s comments came during an interview with ABC News.
Watch the video:
.@GStephanopoulos: “You clearly believe that there was a group of people working against you. Do you think Pres. Obama was behind it?”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 16, 2019
President Trump said former President Obama “had to know about” what he believes was a “setup” to prevent Trump from becoming president.
“There was no crime. There was no collusion. The big thing’s collusion,” Trump said. “Now there’s no collusion. That means they set — it was a setup, in my opinion, and I think it’s gonna come out.”
“You clearly believe there was a group of people working against you,” Stephanopoulos said. “Do you think President Obama was behind it?”
“I would say that he certainly must have known about it because it went very high up in the chain, but you’re gonna find that out. I’m not gonna make that statement quite yet, but I would say that President Obama had to know about it,” Trump replied.
Trump pointed to texts between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page disparaging the president, which have sparked GOP demands to probe the origins of the Mueller investigation, as proof.
Stephanopoulos ended the interview by asking Trump if he believed Obama spied on his campaign.
Trump responded, “I don’t know. But hopefully we’re gonna find out.”