(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump reacted to the release of the DOJ inspector general’s report on the origins of the Russia investigation on Monday, calling the FBI’s actions “a disgrace” and something that “should never again happen to another president.”
“The IG report just came out, and I was just briefed on it, and it's a disgrace what's happened with respect to the things that were done to our country. It should never again happen to another president. It is incredible, far worse than I would have ever thought possible, and it's an embarrassment to our country. It's dishonest,” Trump said speaking at the White House roundtable discussion on empowering families with education choice.
“It's everything that a lot of people thought it would be, except far worse. So I'm going to get some very detailed briefings, but they are -- it's a very sad -- it's a very sad day when I see that, a very sad day when a lot of people see that. They had no nothing. It was concocted, and you say what you want, that was probably something that's never happened in the history of our country,” he said.
On Tuesday, the president criticized FBI Director Christopher Wray’s response to the report’s findings.
“I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!” Trump tweeted.
In a letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Wray wrote:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) appreciates the OIG’s crucial independent oversight role and the thoroughness and professionalism your office brought to this work. The Report’s findings and recommendations represent constructive criticism that will make us stronger as an organization. We also appreciate the Report’s recognition that the FBI cooperated fully with this review and provided broad and timely access to all information requested by the OIG, including highly classified and sensitive material involving national security.
The Report concludes that the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation and related investigations of certain individuals were opened in 2016 for an authorized purpose and with adequate factual predication. The Report also details instances in which certain FBI personnel, at times during the 2016-2017 period reviewed by the OIG, did not comply with existing policies, neglected to exercise appropriate diligence, or otherwise failed to meet the standard of conduct that the FBI expects of its employees — and that our country expects of the FBI. We are vested with significant authorities, and it is our obligation as public servants to ensure that these authorities are exercised with objectivity and integrity. Anything less falls short of the FBI’s duty to the American people.
Accordingly, the FBI accepts the Report’s findings and embraces the need for thoughtful, meaningful remedial action. I have ordered more than 40 corrective steps to address the Report’s recommendations. Because our credibility and brand are central to fulfilling our mission, we are also making improvements beyond those recommended by the OIG. And where certain individuals have been referred by the OIG for review of their conduct, the FBI will not hesitate to take appropriate disciplinary action if warranted at the completion of the required procedures for disciplinary review.
The IG’s report on the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation, which refers to the FBI investigation opened on July 31, 2016 into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election, looked into on whether “political bias other improper considerations affected decision making in Crossfire Hurricane, including the decision to open the investigation.”
“We discussed the issue of political bias in a prior OIG report, Review of Various Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election, where we described text and instant messages between then Special Counsel to the Deputy Director Lisa Page and then Section Chief Peter Strzok, among others, that included statements of hostility toward then candidate Trump and statements of support for then candidate Hillary Clinton.
In this review, we found that, while Lisa Page attended some of the discussions regarding the opening of the investigations, she did not play a role in the decision to open Crossfire Hurricane or the four individual cases. We further found that while Strzok was directly involved in the decisions to open Crossfire Hurricane and the four individual cases, he was not the sole, or even the highest-level, decision maker as to any of those matters.
As noted above, then CD AD Priestap, Strzok's supervisor, was the official who ultimately made the decision to open the investigation, and evidence reflected that this decision by Priestap was reached by consensus after multiple days of discussions and meetings that included Strzok and other leadership in CD, the FBI Deputy Director, the FBI General Counsel, and a FBI Deputy General Counsel.
We concluded that Priestap's exercise of discretion in opening the investigation was in compliance with Department and FBI policies, and we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision.
We similarly found that, while the formal documentation opening each of the four individual investigations was approved by Strzok (as required by the DIOG), the Executive Summary decisions to do so were reached by a consensus among the Crossfire "Hurricane agents and analysts who identified individuals associated with the Trump campaign who had recently traveled to Russia or had other alleged ties to Russia. Priestap was involved in these decisions.
We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations.