President Trump said Thursday newly revealed FBI notes “totally exonerate” former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on his conviction of lying to the FBI.
“He’s in the process of being exonerated,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “That [note] is total exoneration. When you read the notes, how could you do anything else?”
Bombshell documents unsealed Wednesday night revealed that top FBI officials viewed the goal of interviewing Flynn in 2017 was to “get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” A handwritten note disclosed that agents wanted to get Flynn to “admit breaking the Logan Act,” which restricts communication between private citizens and foreign governments, and catch him in a lie.
The president said Flynn was a victim of “dirty cops.”
“These were dirty, filthy cops at the top of the FBI, and you know the names better than I do. And they were dishonest people,” Mr. Trump said. “Gen. Flynn is a fine man. You don’t get to where he is by being bad. The dirty cops came in.”
Mr. Trump fired Flynn a month after taking office, saying he had misled Vice President Mike Pence on the extent of his contacts with Russian officials during the presidential transition.
Asked Thursday whether he regretted firing Flynn, the president said, “I wish I had [brought him back], with all the information. This is terrible.”
He also blamed CNN for helping to “destroy” Flynn and said he hopes the network “is going to give him a fair shake.”