President Donald Trump on Thursday morning suggested that Russia, the FBI and Democrats could have paid for the dossier tying him to Russia, even though there is no evidence to suggest the dossier was ordered by anyone other than his political rivals.
Trump described the dossier as “discredited and Fake,” suggesting that the FBI and Democrats may have colluded to surface false and damaging information about him.
The President also claimed that the firm that put together the dossier invoked their Fifth Amendment rights; however, the firm, Fusion GPS, has not refused outright to discuss its work on the dossier with Congress. Fusion GPS’ founder has already met with the Senate Judiciary Committee and reportedly spoke with investigators on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
Trump is likely referring to the firm signaling it would not fulfill a subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee, accusing Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA), who’d stepped down from the panel’s Russia investigation, of a “pattern of unprofessional conduct.” Fusion GPS also said that if compelled to testify before the committee, staff at the firm would invoke their constitutional privileges, but they have yet to do so.
Fusion GPS has refused to say who payed for the dossier, which was compiled by retired British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. The Washington Post reported back in February that the FBI had planned to pay the Steele for the dossier but never ended up doing so; the FBI did not request that the dossier be compiled in the first place, as Trump suggests.
In his series of Thursday morning tweets on Russia matters, the President also falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton was involved in striking a uranium deal during former President Barack Obama’s tenure, as he did several times on the 2016 campaign trail, although there’s no evidence of her involvement.
Trump also claimed Russia sent millions to the Clinton Foundation. While individuals linked to the firms involved in the uranium deal did donate to the Clinton Foundation, but most of those came before Clinton’s 2008 presidential run — well before she served as secretary of state.
Trump returned to the uranium deal later in the day Thursday, telling reporters that it’s “one of the big stories of the decade.” Trump said that Russia holds 20 percent of the United States’ uranium, then later exaggerated that Russia has “a vast percentage” of American uranium. Russia’s nuclear energy agency does have control over about 20 percent of the United States’ uranium extracting capacity as the result of a 2010 deal.
“That’s your real Russia story,” Trump told reporters, referring to the uranium deal he’s tried to link to Clinton. “Not a story where they talk about collusion, and there was none. It was a hoax. Your real Russia story is uranium. And how they got all of that uranium, a vast percentage of what we have, that is to me, one of the big stories of the decade. Not just now. Of the decade.”
“The problem is that the mainstream media does not want to cover that story because that affects people that they protect. So they don’t like covering that story, but the big story is uranium and how Russia got 20 percent of it,” he continued. “And frankly, it’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace. And it’s a disgrace that the fake news won’t cover it. It’s so sad.”