President Donald Trump said a Justice Department’s internal watchdog report examining the origins of the Russia investigation shows an “attempted overthrow” of government, pointing to inaccuracies found in FBI surveillance applications related to his 2016 campaign.
The nearly 500-page report, released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, found the FBI was legally justified in opening its inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but said there were several “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in its surveillance applications to monitor Trump’s former foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
“They fabricated evidence and they lied to the courtsand they did all sorts of things to have it go their way,” Trump told reporters Monday before a roundtable discussion on education. “This was an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it, and they got caught.”
Trump said he was briefed on the report, describing its findings as “a disgrace” and “far worse than anything I would have imagined.”
The inspector general’s findings undercut Trump’s claim that the Obama administration illegally spied on his campaign.
Democrats and Republicans both declared victory upon the report’s release.
In a written statement, Democrats on Capitol Hill saidthe report refutes the president’s claim that the Russia investigation was a politically motivated “witch hunt.”