Speaking to reporters during a meeting with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy at the White House Thursday, President Trump blasted FBI agents - including former Director James Comey - who set a perjury trap for General Michael Flynn. According to handwritten notes, their goal was to get him fired or prosecuted.
"When I looked at what they did to him, they tormented him. Dirty cops tormented General Flynn. General Flynn is a fine man. Thirty-five years or so in the military. You don't get to be where he is by being bad. That I can tell you. And then right at the beginning of the administration, the dirty cops came in. You've seen the notes," Trump said. "What they did to General Flynn, and by the way to Roger Stone and to others, was a disaster, was a disgrace and should never be allowed to happen in this country again."
Trump was questioned by CNN's Jim Acosta and in return, urged him to cover the story fairly.
"CNN tormented him, in all fairness. I really hope to see, because they haven't been doing it and I appreciate your question, I hope to see that CNN will, not even apologize, which they should, but cover it fairly. Because he's in the process of being exonerated. If you look at those notes from yesterday, that was total exoneration," he said. "These were dirty, filthy cops at the top of the FBI and you know their names better than I do and they were dishonest people. Now we have to see what's going to happen but General Flynn was treated like nobody, and I'm not talking about Generals, like nobody in this country should be treated and they did it right at the beginning."
"They came at him with 15 buses and he was standing in the middle of a highway. What they did to this man, they tormented him. They destroyed him, but he's going to come back bigger and better," Trump continued.
When asked about whether he regretted firing Flynn, Trump said he wishes he had the information he has now about what the FBI was doing at the time. Flynn was fired in February 2017 for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about contact with the Russian ambassador.
"We got to a point not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue with a level of trust between the president and General Flynn had eroded to the point where he felt he had to make a change. The president was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the vice president and others," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at the time. "The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation in a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for General Flynn's resignation."
As far as a pardon for Flynn, President Trump said he likes to "stay out of it," although he "doesn't have to."
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