Trump: Declassification Of Russia Probe Intel Is About Transparency; "What Happened And When"

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Speaking to reporters Friday on the White House lawn, President Trump spoke about why he ordered the declassification of Obama-era intelligence information related to the Russia investigation.

"For over a year, people have asked me to declassify. What I've done is declassified everything. [Attorney General William Barr] can look. I hope he looks at the UK and I hope he looks at Australia, and I hope he looks at Ukraine. I hope he looks at everything," Trump said.





"This is about finding out what happened," he said. "What happened and when did it happen, because this was an attempted takedown of the president of the United States, and we have to find out why."

"We're exposing everything. We're being a word that you like, transparent. We're being, ultimately we're being transparent. That's what it's about. Again, this should never ever happen in our country again."

QUESTION: Why should people trust the attorney general to select what is declassified. Even Robert Mueller expressed concerns about the way Barr handled his findings?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The question is so false and so phony. Lets me explain, the attorney general is one of the most respected people in this country. He has been for a long period of time. He's going to look at a lot of documents. Some he might find interesting. Maybe he'll find none interesting. But for over a year, people have asked me to declassify. What I've done is declassified everything. He can look. I hope he looks at the UK and I hope he looks at Australia and I hope he looks at Ukraine. I hope he looks at everything, because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country. It's the greatest hoax -- excuse me. It's the greatest hoax probably in the history of our country and somebody has to get to the bottom of it. We'll see. For a long period of time, they wanted me to declassify and I did.

QUESTION: What is it about? Is it about getting payback for the two years?

TRUMP: This is about finding out what happened. I won an election. I won it easily. 306-223. I won it pretty easily. This is all about what happened and when did it happen, because this was an attempted takedown of the president of the United States, and we have to find out why did somebody write a text message -- the two lovers -- that if she loses, we have an insurance policy. An insurance policy to take down the president. We're going to find out what happened and why it happened.

It's not payback, I don't care about payback. I think it's important for our country to find out what happened.

QUESTION: Are you worried the investigations are hurting your re-election chances?

TRUMP: I don't know. My poll numbers are very good. You don't like to report them, but I guess we have a 48 today. We have a 51. We have very good poll numbers considering. If you people would give straight news, I'd be at 70, maybe 75. You don't give straight news. You give fake news. With fake news, I'm still winning the election. If you gave serious, good news the way you're supposed to, I'd probably be at 70 or 75 based on the economy alone...

QUESTION: On William Barr [inaudble].

TRUMP: I want somebody who will be fair. I think William Barr is the most respected men doing what he does in our whole country. I just want him to be fair. I don't want him to be for me or anybody else. I just want him to be fair. That's what he is, and we're going to find out what this yields. I will tell you, declassifying, people have wanted me to do it for a long time. I think it was very important to do. Basically, what are we doing? We're exposing everything. We're being a word that you like, transparent. We're being, ultimately we're being transparent. That's what it's about. Again, this should never ever happen in our country again.

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