Donald Trump credits Fox hosts for decision to declassify Russian probe text messages

September 20, 2018

President Trump has credited several Fox News hosts with his decision to declassify material related to the government investigation into his own election.

In a transcript of an interview published Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he recently ordered the declassification of certain material upon the urging of three conservative cable news personalities in particular.

“I have been asked by so many people that I respect, please the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful, great Jeanine Pirro,” Mr. Trump told The Hill during an interview conducted Tuesday.

“And that’s not, let’s say they like me,” Mr. Trump continued. “But this is beyond liking me. They know that this is one of the great scandals in the history of our country.”

The White House announced on Monday that Mr. Trump had ordered the Justice Department to declassify certain material related to the origins of its investigation into alleged Russian interference during the 2016 race, including unredacted text messages sent by individuals including fired FBI officials James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok, as well as former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr, a current Justice Department official.

“This is a witch hunt,” Mr. Trump said of the Russian probe during a separate appearance Tuesday. “It’s a terrible witch hunt and it’s hurt our country and the things that have been found over the last couple of weeks about text messages back and forth are a disgrace to our nation. And I want transparency and so does everybody else.”

A former CNN anchor, Mr. Dobbs, 72, has hosted “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on the Fox Business Network since 2011. Mr. Hannity, 56, and Ms. Pirro, host their own primetime shows on the Fox News channel “Hannity” and “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” respectively. Each are among the president’s fiercest defenders on cable news, frequently using their programs to attack Mr. Trump’s critics and the Russian probe in particular.

Mr. Trump is slated to be interviewed on “Hannity” during Thursday’s broadcast.

Update hourly