President Donald Trump today indicated he is likely to raise potential British spying allegations with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May during his state visit in early June.
Trump’s base has for years been urging the U.S. President to “declassify” documents that could prove international intelligence service collusion against his presidential campaign in 2015/16. Today, he went further than ever in making the release of those documents a reality.
“I’ve declassified everything,” Trump told reporters on Friday before his trip to Japan. “He [Attorney General Bill Barr] can look, he added, in comments reported by the Daily Mail.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) May 24, 2019
“It was an attempted coup or an attempted take down of the President of the United States. It should never ever happen to anybody else,” the president said.
“I hope he looks at the U.K. 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”.
Remarking upon his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, he responded: “I may very well talk to her about that. Yeah, there’s word and rumor that the FBI and others were involved, CIA were involved with the UK having to do with the Russian hoax, and I may very well talk with her about that”.
Speaking of the broader declassification of documents related to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court, Trump remarked: “I declassified, I guess, potentially millions of pages of documents. I don’t know what it is. I have no idea. But I want to be transparent. Everybody wanted me to declassify. I’ve done it. You could almost says he’s the trustee”.
“People have been asking me to declassify for a long period of time. I’ve decided to do it, and and you’re going to learn a lot. I hope it’s going to be nice, but perhaps it won’t be.
“We want to be very transparent so as you know I declassified everything, everything they want.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement on Thursday detailing the process for the Attorney General’s investigation into the alleged spying on the Trump campaign:
Statement on Presidential Memorandum signed tonight pic.twitter.com/wHx6l2lL5c
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 24, 2019
Thus far, various UK-allied or UK-based operatives known for their work with the intelligence services have been highlighted as potentially working to spy on and disseminate false information about the Trump 2016 campaign.
Figures include former MI6 operative Christopher Steele, Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, and even Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson’s underling at Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Tobias Ellwood MP.
After former CIA operative Larry Johnson accused Britain of being complicit in spying on the Trump campaign, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) signals intelligence arm of the British government said: “The allegations that GCHQ was asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”