President Trump explained to the New York Post Wednesday that his decision to walk back plans to declassify sensitive Russia-probe related investigation documents was at least in part based on a calculation that he could use the documents as leverage against Democrats seeking to investigate him.
“I think that would help my campaign. If they want to play tough, I will do it. They will see how devastating those pages are,” Trump told the Post, referring to applications for surveillance warrants and other sensitive documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
He said that if Democrats “go down the presidential harassment track” it would be “the best thing that would happen to me.”
“I’m a counter-puncher and I will hit them so hard they’d never been hit like that,” Trump said, according to the Post.
Trump earlier this year said he would declassify certain documents related to the Russia investigation, as well as messages sent among Justice Department figures he has sought to vilify. He backed down on that promise, ostensibly to allow for further review of the national security concerns involved.
Now, according to what Trump told the New York Post, he was also advised by Emmet Flood, a top White House lawyer, that waiting made sense politically too.
“He didn’t want me to do it yet, because I can save it,” Trump said.