President Trump said Wednesday that it was a “disgrace” for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party to pay for a dossier about him during last year’s race.
“It’s very sad what they’ve done with this fake dossier,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “The Democrats always denied it. Hillary Clinton always denied it. I think it’s a disgrace. It’s a very sad commentary on politics in this country.”
According to news reports, Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS to investigate Mr. Trump in April 2016. The private research firm reportedly hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy with ties to the FBI, to conduct the opposition research, and he compiled a dossier containing allegations about Mr. Trump’s connections to Russia.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the effort until the end of October 2016, just days before the election.
“I understand they paid a tremendous amount of money,” Mr. Trump said. “Now only because it’s going to come out in a court case, they said yes, they did it, they admitted it and they’re embarrassed by it.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, and Russian interference in the presidential election. Mr. Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey last spring because,he said in part, that he believed Mr. Comey’s Russia investigation was a waste of time into phony allegations.
Now, Mr. Trump said, given the revelations about the dossier and fresh investigations into a uranium deal with a Russian firm approved by the Obama administration, the Russia controversy has “turned around” on the Democrats.
“The whole Russian thing is what it’s turned out to be,” the president said. “This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election. They lost it very badly. They didn’t know what to say, so they made up the whole Russia hoax. Now it’s turning out that the whole hoax is turned around.”
He asserted, “You look at what’s happened with Russia, and you look at the uranium deal, and you look at the fake dossier, so that’s all turned around.”
The dossier originally was funded by an unnamed Republican during the GOP presidential primary. Asked if he knows the identity of the Republican who initiated the dossier against him, Mr. Trump said, “I think I would know but I won’t say. I’m sure that will come out. If I were to guess, I have one name in mind.”
“Look, Hillary would never have announced it was them, except for this great court case that’s going on, where the judge was going to reveal it,” he said. “So they figured they would do it first. They’re very embarrassed by this.”