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Trump Sounds Off on FISA Warrant Release: 'I Want Total Transparency'

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Speaking at the White House on Friday about the possible declassification of the warrant records related to the FBI’s surveillance of Trump campaign staffer Carter Page, President Donald Trump said he wanted “total transparency” in the process.

The president had initially backed off a promise to declassify the records, something congressional sources told Fox News “blind-sided” and “demoralized” them.

“They said they hope Trump will reconsider in light of new allegations against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that have since emerged,” Fox reported, referring to Friday’s New York Times story that claimed Rosenstein last year suggested secretly recording Trump as part of an attempt to get him out of office.

“Trump agreed on Friday to delay the release of key files related to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, urging the inspector general to review the documents on an ‘expedited basis’ amid Justice Department concerns their publication may have a ‘negative impact’ on the probe.”

Appearing before reporters at the White House on Friday, Trump said he was merely angling for more transparency into how federal law enforcement investigated alleged Russian interference in the run-up to the 2016 election, saying “we’re going to see” about what gets released.

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The contents of the warrants the FBI used to place Page under surviellance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act are a big part of how that investigation proceeded.

“We want transparency,” the president said. “What I want is I want total transparency.”

“This is a witch hunt. The Republicans are seeing it, the Democrats know it’s a witch hunt, too, but they don’t want to admit it because that’s not good politics for them.

Do you think the documents regarding the FISA warrant should be public?

“But it’s a terrible witch hunt and it’s hurt our country,” the president continued.

The president added he wanted “transparency, and so does everyone else.”

“As you know, congressional committees came to me and they wanted this (declassification),” Trump said. “And I did it based on their request, but I think it’s a good thing because we should open it up for people to see.”

The statement came on the same day Trump released a statement announcing he was going to slow the immediate release of the documents.

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“I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents. They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release,” he tweeted.

“Therefore, the Inspector General has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis. I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at). In the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me –and everyone!”

How speedily that transparency comes, however, remains to be seen.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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