FILE PHOTO: With a portrait of the nation’s first president George Washington serving as a backdrop, U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a ceremony to award the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump predicted on Friday that a government watchdog report on the origins of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which engulfed two years of his presidency, will be historic.
“The word is it’s historic,” Trump told Fox News Channel about an upcoming Justice Department watchdog report on the FBI’s adherence to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requirements during the 2016 campaign.
“That’s what I hear. If it’s historic, you’re going to see something,” Trump said, declining to say how he knew.
Trump supporters have claimed the report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, which is expected to be released on Dec. 9, will raise questions about the legitimacy of FBI investigations into alleged links to Russia by Trump and some of his campaign advisers.
A central issue the inspector general’s office said the report looked into is how closely the FBI stuck to the law and rules when it went to a secret court beginning in 2016 to obtain authorization to conduct electronic monitoring of “a certain U.S. person.”
Carter Page, a onetime foreign policy adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign, recently sued the Justice Department, accusing it of violating his privacy by failing to give him an opportunity to examine the report before publication.
Reporting By Steve Holland and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Alex Richardson and Jonathan Oatis