EXCLUSIVE: Former President Trump said Monday that former FBI Director James Comey and Democrats need to be held accountable for spending years investigating alleged collusion between Trump and Russia now that Special Counsel John Durham has released a report that says the Trump-Russia probe never should have been launched.
“I, and much more importantly, then American public have been victims of this long-running and treasonous charade started by the Democrats — started by Comey,” Trump told Fox News Digital. “There must be a heavy price to pay for putting our country through this.”
Durham’s report found that the Department of Justice and FBI “failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law” when it launched the Trump-Russia investigation.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Trump said the activities surrounding the FBI’s original Trump-Russia investigation were “a total disgrace,” and said “public anger over this report is at a level that I have not seen before.”
READ DURHAM’S REPORT ON THE ORIGINS OF THE FBI’S RUSSIAN COLLUSION PROBE
Former President Donald Trump said the Durham report is a “total disgrace” for the Justice Department. ((Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images))
“This report took a long time because John Durham is a very thorough investigator,” Trump said. “But the result is unequivocal and an absolute disaster in terms of justice.”
Trump added that “the national security implications of what they did are very grave.”
“It turned out to be a giant and very dangerous hoax,” he said, adding that he would have “further comment in the near future.”
Durham’s report was released Monday afternoon after his years-long investigation into the origins of the FBI’s original investigation, known as “Crossfire Hurricane.” That investigation looked into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, and his report spanned more than 300 pages.
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Special Counsel John Durham released his final report on the Trump-Russia probe on Monday. (Photo by Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)
“Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” the report said.
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Durham added that his investigation also revealed that “senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information that they received, especially information received from politically-affiliated persons and entities.”
“This information in part triggered and sustained Crossfire Hurricane and contributed to the subsequent need for Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” the report states. “In particular, there was significant reliance on investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by Trump’s political opponents.”
The leadership of James Comey, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was questioned in Special Counsel John Durham’s report on the Trump-Russia probe. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“The Department did not adequately examine or question these materials and the motivations of those providing them, even when at about the same time the Director the FBI and others learned of significant and potentially contrary intelligence,” the report states.
Durham is referring to past FBI leadership in his report – specifically former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Durham’s report “does not recommend any wholesale changes in the guidelines and policies that the Department and the FBI now have in place to ensure proper conduct and accountability in how counterintelligence activities are carried out.”
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In a statement to Fox News Digital reacting to Durham’s report, the FBI said:
“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time. Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the FBI said. “This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.”