President Trump repeated a specious claim that the FBI spied on his campaign, and suggested that his decision to declassify documents from the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election would reveal misconduct by federal law enforcement, reports the Washington Post. In morning tweets apparently quoting from a television appearance by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Trump wrote, “ ‘What will be disclosed is that there was no basis for these FISA Warrants, that the important information was kept from the court, there’s going to be a disproportionate influence of the (Fake) Dossier. Basically you have a counter terrorism tool used to spy on a presidential campaign, which is unprecedented in our history.’ ” He added, “Really bad things were happening, but they are now being exposed.”
The comments related to Trump’s order on Monday night that the Justice Department declassify materials related to the Russia investigation, including portions of a secret court order to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The order was issued under what is known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Democrats and former national security officials have said that Trump’s directive is a dangerous one — threatening to undermine an ongoing investigation of his own campaign and potentially revealing confidential law enforcement and intelligence sources. Democrats on the Gang of Eight — which includes the leaders of the House and Senate and the leaders of each chamber’s intelligence committee — called the move a “brazen abuse of power” and asked for a briefing before any materials were disclosed. It was not clear how soon the materials would be made public.