President Donald Trump said Wednesday that revelations that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee partly funded the creation of a research dossier against him “a very sad commentary on politics in this country.”
The dossier, parts of which have reportedly been corroborated by the intelligence community, was created by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele. He had been paid by Marc Elias, an attorney representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The work had previously been funded by Republican sources.
“Well, I think it’s very sad what they’ve done with this fake dossier,” Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One. “It was made up. And I understand they paid a tremendous amount of money. And Hillary Clinton always denied it. The Democrats always denied it.”
Trump alleged that “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,” he continued. “But I think it’s a disgrace. It’s just really — it’s a very sad commentary on politics in this country.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday evening called the Post’s reporting “the real Russia scandal,” and Trump quoted Fox News commentary on the Washington’s Post’s reporting early Wednesday.
"Clinton campaign & DNC paid for research that led to the anti-Trump Fake News Dossier. The victim here is the President." @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2017
Multiple sources told the Post it was “standard practice for political campaigns to use law firms to hire outside researchers to ensure their work is protected by attorney-client and work-product privileges.”
Later, Trump told the assembled reporters near his helicopter, referring to the continued investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, “This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election.”
“They lost it by a lot,” he added later. “They didn’t know what to say, so they made up the whole Russia hoax. Now it’s turning out that the hoax has turned around and 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.”
Trump also suggested he had a hunch about who was originally behind the dossier.
“Well, they say it began with the Republicans. I think I would know but I won’t say. It will be determined. It will be determined,” Trump said of the Republican originator of the research funding, adding: “It might have starred with the Republicans early on in the primaries. I think I would know but let’s find out who it is. I’m sure that will come out.”
“I have one name in mind,” he said. “It will probably be revealed.”