EXCLUSIVE: ‘If the shoe were on the other foot, it would be treason.’ Trump rips into Obama’s administration for ‘spying’ on his campaign, telling Corey Lewandowski in AUDIO RECORDING the former President knew about surveillance
- President Trump told Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie in an audio recording obtained by DailyMail.com: ‘If the shoe were on the other foot, and the same thing happened to him, it would be treason’
- The president said he believes Obama knew the then-CIA chief and director of national intelligence were spying on members of his campaign
- The President sat down with Lewandowski and Bossie for their new book, Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency
- The authors claim to have documents on the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation on meetings between the FBI and top Executive Branch members
- They write: ‘In most cases, the names of all individuals who attended these meetings are listed and unredacted, with the exception of one’
- ‘We have sources who have informed us this redacted name is Obama. If correct, it would mean Obama had direct knowledge of the surveillance on Trump’
- Crossfire Hurricane sought to uncover ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, later morphing into the Russia probe overseen by Robert Mueller
President Trump ripped into Obama and his administration for ‘spying’ on his presidential campaign, claiming if the same had happened to the former president it would be considered treason, audio tapes obtained by DailyMail.com reveal.
In Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency, authors Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, and David Bossie, deputy campaign manager and part of the transition team, sat down with Trump for a 45-minute interview, covering a wide-range of topics, including the Mueller probe, fake news and his strained relationship with Obama.
When asked if he believed Obama knew that his appointed CIA chief John Brennan and director of national intelligence (DNI) James Clapper were conducting surveillance on citizens, specifically members of his campaign, Trump said he believed the former president was aware of what they were doing.
Trump responded: ‘Personally, I think he knew. Yeah. Just remember what they did.
‘Let me put it this way: if the shoe were on the other foot, and the same thing happened to him, it would be treason and they’d be locked up for 100 years.’
In an author’s note, Lewandowski and Bossie write: ‘In several documents pertaining to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, meetings between the FBI and top members of the Executive Branch are discussed.
‘In most cases, the names of all individuals who attended these meetings are listed and unredacted, with the exception of one.
‘We have several sources who have informed us that this redacted name is President Barack Obama. If these sources are correct, it would mean that Obama had direct knowledge of the surveillance on Donald Trump.’
Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency lays bare the lengths those who revile the president have gone to undermine and destroy him
The FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation sought to uncover ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
It later would morph into the Russia probe being overseen by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The initial probe was established on July 31, 2016, and the code name was a line from a Rolling Stones lyric at a time when Trump was firing up his supporters to the 1968 hit song Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
The authors write in their new book, which is out on Tuesday: ‘We have little doubt that Obama had let his intelligence agencies spiral out of control during his eight years in office, even going so far as to either implicitly or explicitly allow them to conduct surveillance on citizens of the United States on domestic soil—and not just any citizens, but members of the Trump campaign.’
The two claim people at the top of Obama’s government were more left-leaning than in any administration in history, and they felt threatened by the incoming Trump administration, leading to ‘treasonous’ surveillance and sparking the Russia probe.
But Trump believes the investigation has made his supporters even more loyal, saying: ‘I think it makes my base stronger.
‘I would have never said this to you. But I think the level of love now is far greater than when we won.’
Corey Lewandowski (left) and David Bossie (right) write: ‘We have little doubt that Obama had let his intelligence agencies spiral out of control…, even going so far as to either implicitly or explicitly allow them to conduct surveillance on… members of the Trump campaign’
Despite Clapper and Brennan’s surveillance and their likely push to have Obama advise Trump not to hire Michael Flynn as head of the National Security Counsel, which would expose their abuse, the authors said it was James Comey who created the most trouble for Trump by delivering the dossier concocted by Christopher Steele.
They wrote: ‘By bringing that folder into his briefing with Trump, Comey transformed the dossier from unverified fiction to ‘a document that was presented to the president-elect in a private briefing with intelligence agencies.
‘Fake News organizations could now make it sound like an essential piece of information.
‘Comey had given the fake dossier legitimacy, and the Fake News license to print the whole thing, which BuzzFeed did a day later. He admitted he did this in his own memos, writing that CNN was waiting for a ‘news hook’ to publish.’
In the sit-down interview, Trump took aim at the fired FBI director, saying in hindsight he should have fired him from the start.
Trump said: ‘In retrospect, I should have fired him the day after I won and announced please get the hell out. But I really did very early. It’s not like I waited a long time. In retrospect, I wish I fired him immediately.
‘Here’s the thing. I didn’t do it for popularity. When I fired him, I said “wow.” This will be really bipartisan. This will be very popular.
‘Because Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, saying you gotta fire him. I can’t think of one that was positive. Everybody hated him. The Republicans, likewise, hated him.
‘So, when I fired him, I said this is going to be very popular. And the minute I fired him, they started saying wonderful things about him. Because it’s a very dishonest system in Washington.’
But despite Clapper and Brennan’s surveillance and their likely push to have Obama advise Trump not to hire Michael Flynn as head of the National Security Counsel, which would expose their abuse, the authors said it was James Comey who created the most trouble for Trump by delivering the dossier concocted by Christopher Steele
Trump also reiterated his disdain for fake news, saying: ‘The greatest enemy of this country is Fake News. I really mean it.
‘It is collusion, because they work together. You’ll see some things, like a certain phrase will be used, and they’ll stick together, and if it doesn’t work, they’ll go onto the next thing. And they’ll all do it in unison.
‘The other thing that’s very dangerous is social media. You look at Google, all of these things that are so far Left-leaning.
‘For instance, if you look under Trump, they show bad stories. They show very few good, and mostly bad.
‘When I said enemy of the people, I didn’t say the media, I said the Fake News. There’s a difference.
‘The amazing thing is that you have certain people who are conservative Republicans that if my name weren’t Trump, if it were John Smith, they would say I’m the greatest president in history and I blow Ronald Reagan away.
‘You want to know the truth? The system is so badly rigged by the media, including the modern forms of social media, it’s almost impossible for me to get a good story out of the New York Times.
‘I think that one of the most important things that I’ve done, especially for the public, is explain that a lot of the news is indeed fake. I look at stories about myself, it might be good or bad. And, I don’t mind a bad story as long as it’s true. But they’ll take a great story and make it bad.
‘The worst is that it’s hard to defend yourself. The advantage of social media is that I can defend myself—I mean social media is skewed to the left—but at least I have my way of getting my message out for instance. They write things about me that are no problem.’
Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie is available on Amazon November 27.
COREY LEWANDOWSKI AND DAVID BOSSIE’S FULL INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
(Author’s note: This interview was conducted in the Oval Office and lasted about forty-five minutes. Along with White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communication, Bill Shine, Vice President Mike Pence joined us about halfway through the interview. The interview was edited and condensed for clarity.)
David N. Bossie (DB): This book is about your historic successes, your accomplishments, and the battles you’ve had to wage on behalf of the American people to do exactly what you promised to do.
Corey R. Lewandowski (CL): The book talks about your battles with the Fake News, the elites on the hill, people like Bill Kristol and Rick Wilson . . .
President Donald J. Trump (The President): Can you believe this? They take my agenda that I’ve gotten approved, biggest regulation cuts in history, biggest tax cut in history, ANWR, they’ve been trying to get it approved for sixty years. More judges than anyone has ever appointed.
[Author’s Note: ANWR refers to a plot of oil-rich land in Alaska called the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. President Trump took the first steps toward allowing oil drillers to operate on a 1.6-million acre coastal plane in this area.]
ENEMIES OF YOURS?
DB: Who or what is the biggest enemy of you or your administration?
THE PRESIDENT: The greatest enemy of this country is Fake News. I really mean it. It’s hard to believe they get the word out and they stick with it. It is collusion, because they work together. You’ll see some things, like a certain phrase will be used, and they’ll stick together, and if it doesn’t work, they’ll go onto the next thing.
And they’ll all do it in unison. The newest one, that started last week, was “chaos in the White House.” It’s very dangerous what’s going on with the media. Very dangerous. And you’ve gotta have a lot of different outlets.
The other thing that’s very dangerous is social media. You look at Google, all of these things that are so far Left-leaning. For instance, if you look under Trump, they show bad stories. They show very few good, and mostly bad.
When I said enemy of the people, I didn’t say the media, I said the Fake News. There’s a difference. The amazing thing is that you have certain people who are conservative Republicans that if my name weren’t Trump, if it were John Smith, they would say I’m the greatest president in history and I blow Ronald Reagan away.
CL: George Will, Bill Kristol, all these guys.
THE PRESIDENT: All these guys that if they looked at my agenda, just with a different name . . . And he got the biggest regulation cuts in history in less than two years, judges, environmental stuff, getting out of the Paris horror show. If you said that conservative president John Smith did that, they would say he’s the greatest president. Far greater than Ronald Reagan. A guy like Bill Kristol is a total lightweight. This guy has called me wrong from the beginning. George Will. Total lightweight.
DB: It’s not just what they cover, it’s what they don’t cover.
THE PRESIDENT: They show certain things, it’s what they show. It’s surprising that I won! You want to know the truth? The system is so badly rigged by the media, including the modern forms of social media, it’s almost impossible for me to get a good story out of the New York Times.
I think that one of the most important things that I’ve done, especially for the public, is explain that a lot of the news is indeed fake. I look at stories about myself, it might be good or bad. And, I don’t mind a bad story as long as it’s true.
But they’ll take a great story and make it bad. Like Kim Jong Un. They couldn’t believe when he wanted to meet with me, and then we had a summit. By the time the morning came along, they said “Trump has agreed to meet! This is a tremendous defeat!” They took this unbelievable thing, and they made it into something bad, like I made all these concessions. You know what the only concession I made was? I agreed to meet. That was a big concession.
The good news is that for the most part, the public sees through it. The worst is that it’s hard to defend yourself. The advantage of social media is that I can defend myself—I mean social media is skewed to the left—but at least I have my way of getting my message out for instance. They write things about me that are no problem.
CL: You saw that James Comey said that he thought the Muller investigation was in the fourth quarter. What do you think he means?
THE PRESIDENT: Did you ever notice that people like you, people who know there was no Russian collusion, nobody calls! They (Mueller’s investigators) only call other people and they grab them on things that had nothing to do with our campaign. Every single element of the things that we’ve seen had nothing to do with our campaign.
You guys know better than anybody that there’s no collusion. You know that Bob Woodward’s book started about collusion. But he had one problem.
CL: It didn’t exist.
DB: His goal was to find it.
THE PRESIDENT: Look, I don’t think he’s a very good reporter, personally. But I should have talked to him. Nobody told me that he was trying to talk to me.
DB: So how has the politicized investigation affected your administration?
THE PRESIDENT: I think it makes my base stronger. I would have never said this to you. But I think the level of love now is far greater than when we won. I don’t know, what do you think, Mike?
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: As strong or stronger.
THE PRESIDENT: In Las Vegas, there are thousands of people trying to get into this one arena. We’re not talking about an NCAA championship basketball game, just a guy who goes up and talks and tells the truth.
CL: Do you think, looking back, that Barack Obama knew what (James) Clapper and (John) Brennan and those guys were doing? The insurance policy to spy on the campaign and come after American citizens? Do you think he was aloof or do you think he knew?
THE PRESIDENT: Personally, I think he knew. Yeah. Just remember what they did. Let me put it this way: if the shoe were on the other foot, and the same thing happened to him, it would be treason and they’d be locked up for 100 years.
[On several documents pertaining to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation , meetings between the FBI and top members of the Executive Branch are discussed. In most cases, the names of all individuals who attended these meetings are listed and unredacted, with the exception of one.
We have several sources who have informed us that this redacted name is President Barack Obama. If these sources are correct, it would mean that Obama had direct knowledge of the surveillance on Donald Trump.]
CL: Would it have been better to fire Comey on day one?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. It would have been better to fire him the day after I won. Better to fire him on day one to announce please don’t be here when I get there.
But I almost did that. He was only here for what? Three months? So really, he was there for three and a half months. Really quick. In retrospect, I should have fired him the day after I won and announced please get the hell out.
But I really did very early. It’s not like I waited a long time. In retrospect, I wish I fired him immediately. Here’s the thing. I didn’t do it for popularity. When I fired him, I said “wow.” This will be really bipartisan. This will be very popular.
Because Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, saying you gotta fire him. I can’t think of one that was positive. Everybody hated him. The Republicans, likewise, hated him. So, when I fired him, I said this is going to be very popular. And the minute I fired him, they started saying wonderful things about him. Because it’s a very dishonest system in Washington.
CL: There’s been a lot of discussion about the leadership of the FBI and it’s role in both the Hillary Clinton email scandal and phony Russia investigation. After (James) Comey was fired he wrote a book, now Andy McCabe (Andrew McCabe, fired Acting Director of FBI) has a new book coming out, called “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.”
Where’s the accountability? This guy lied three times under oath according to the IG (Inspector General’s report).
DB: He’s a bad guy.
THE PRESIDENT: He’s a bad guy. You have people within government who are unbelievably bad people. He’s somebody, if you look at his texts and you look at what he’s done, what he did with Hillary Clinton, where he gave her a pass.
You have 30,000 emails that were deleted after receiving a subpoena. You know people who deleted emails and they went to jail! Let’s see what happens to him. He has the nerve to write a book. I actually hear he’s against Comey. That they’re fighting.
LISA PAGE AND PETER STRZOK
CL: So, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. Somehow, the FBI let all this happen?
THE PRESIDENT: And so far, the Justice Department is letting it happen. And I think more than anything else, people are angry at that. They go after people who in some cases have done something wrong and in some cases have not, but nothing on the campaign, by the way!
Stuff before the campaign ever took place, etc. But more than anything people are so angry that all of these horrible things that took place. You may be surprised. How about that Lisa Page? How about when he goes “Great going with the article?” Then they take the article and go after someone with a badge. Don’t forget. We were being watched by these people.
NEW POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
DB: So are you considering any policies and procedures to stop what Page and Strzok did?
THE PRESIDENT: The answer is yes. The American people haven’t been fooled. They’ve been the opposite of fooled. The American people are wide awake. And they’re watching. It’s being exposed.
Some great writers. Gregg Jarrett. Judge Jeanine. You guys. You can go on and on. My friend (Jason) Chaffetz, the Utah Congressman.
DB: Now we have to talk about the “anonymous” op-ed in the New York Times?
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. Maybe the Times did it. Because of how dishonest they are. We have 3,000 people that fit that description. It’s a lot. Senior administration officials, it’s at least 1,000.
And the way they worded it, we checked. That means it’s not someone who would be known. This could mean that it’s a person I’ve never met.
CL: Sir, So thinking back. Woodward writes this book. People talking to him. That’s what the media wants to focus on. They want to focus on the salacious things that people have said. Are those people, who say that stuff, enemies of what you’re trying to accomplish?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Woodward’s book, I should have talked to him. I didn’t get the calls. And I should have talked to him. If I had talked to him, maybe it would have been somewhat different. But I didn’t read the book. I’m not going to read the book. I like to read things that are pleasant.
Actually, some of the things he said, like my stance on the military, which he viewed as “you wanna leave certain countries . . .” a lot of people called and said, “Man, that’s great.” And he made it seem like it’s bad.
But I always like to talk to people before they write something. But because of how busy everything is, you can’t. But I’ll tell you something.
Every single person that he wrote about has given massive beautiful letters about, we never said it. Whether they did or not, we don’t know. But they gave me letters that were very strong. Including General Mattis, General Kelly, Rob Porter.
It’s human nature (for people to want to talk to the press). You have people who have been in the Washington scene forever. I haven’t. You heard me, I said I had probably been here seventeen times. Then the eighteenth, I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue.
I tell that at rallies. I look at my wife, I have two hundred motorcycles in front of me, I have ambulances, I’ve never seen so many machine guns. I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue. I love that story. I say, “Baby, do you believe? I’m President of the United States.”
But the problem was that I didn’t really know people here. Now I do. I probably know everybody. That’s a big point. I came here as a person that was in Washington very few times, less than twenty, and probably never stayed overnight. I didn’t know anybody in Washington. I was a New York City person. Then all of a sudden, I’m president.
So I didn’t have the benefit of knowing. Nobody had the success that I’ve had in the first two years, and everybody was against Trump. But I’ll tell you what happens to people, even people who are on your side. They go through life, nobody ever calls.
They work hard, they’re wonderful, it happened with you two guys, too. I know you two guys better than you think. And then all of a sudden, you hit the hottest campaign in the history of the United States— you had a lot to do with it Corey, more than people understand— it’s a compliment. We had fun, right?
CL: We had a blast.
THE PRESIDENT: We just blew ‘em away. It was over before it started. The escalator ride. How long did it take.
I said, “I think I’m gonna do it tomorrow, Corey. Set it up.” Turned out to be modest! Time has proven that speech to be very modest. So all these people (working for the me) are good people, regular people. This is CNN calling, Fox, New York Times.
They’re good people. But they’re being inundated with calls from reporters that they’ve been watching on television for 15 years. This is so and so from ABC, we’d like to have you . . . they get seduced, and they start talking big.
I don’t say they’re bad. They’re not! The really good ones don’t do that. Or they only talk very positively. Or they become stars. Even the press people become stars.
So people who never had a call from a newspaper and frankly, if they were on the Obama team, they still wouldn’t have a call. Nobody cared.
Some people that are working for me, they become stars for the first time in their lives. Isn’t that an interesting thing? They never get calls. It’s not even bad, but bad enough. But many times, they just make it up.
Much of it is made up sources. There are many times that I read a story, and they don’t have sources. They say “sources say” and they make them up.
DOCUMENTS REMOVED FROM THE OVAL
CL: What’s the real story about the document being removed from your desk by your staff?
THE PRESIDENT: You know what that letter was? I said we’re going to terminate the crummy (South Korean trade) deal. So, Lighthizer (Robert, United States Trade Representative), he’s great, comes in and says he won’t even call us back, sir. I said that’s great, tell them they have another two days, and after that I’m going to tax their cars. 25 percent on every car that comes in.
So Gary (Cohn) said, “Oh you can’t do that!” He’s a globalist. And he keeps saying oh you can’t. So I called up and I read it to him, I said here’s the story: We’re going to terminate your deal. It’s going to be terminated next week. I’m going to tax every goddamn car you sell.
So this guy (Lighthizer) walks into my office, and he says sir what happened? South Korea is calling me and begging me to come over and make a deal.
They wouldn’t even return my call. What happened? That was me! Then I’ve got to listen to this s**t. And if I didn’t do that, this country would be in trouble.
CL: Do you think the Democrats are going to take back the House and how does that affect your relationships with people on the Hill?
THE PRESIDENT: They (Republicans) should have fought harder for things like the wall. Disappointed me in that.
I’m friends with all of them. I do well. But they should have fought harder for the wall and border security. They let me down. And historically, it just doesn’t happen.
Remember, I’m fighting history here. Except for the fact that I’m fighting history, if you look at the fact that—look, I guess it’s three times, and it’s always after World War II or 9/11 or something.
In other words, I guess people feel that they’re happy that they won the presidency and they’re complacent. But I have a feeling that we’re going to do a lot better than people think. You’ve seen it. It’s incredible. I’m trying to get Heller in. He was expected to lose easily and now he’s up two points.
DB: We didn’t even get a chance to talk about Hillary! But she’s responsible for the whole fake dossier. She paid for the whole thing.
THE PRESIDENT: Can you imagine she did that and they are looking at this (Fake Russia investigation).
RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT
DB: So, knowing what you’ve known today, with the media bias and the Democrat hatred against you so strong, do you regret running for president?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I love it! Look: it’s so much different than anybody knows. It’s been so successful. Nobody has ever done more than I’ve done in two years. No president has ever done and—you may look at something to do with war, but basically there was no war in the first two years.
The only thing that I have is I have a news media that is totally corrupt. And when I say totally corrupt, I mean 85 percent of it is totally corrupt. You can do something great and they will make it look bad, to a point that you don’t even understand why they’re doing it.
Why do they want to make it look bad? Whether it’s fixing the military or cutting regulation. But people have no idea how false and corrupt much of the media is.
When you read some of these stories, you pick up the New York Times, and they don’t call you for sources. They’ll say “sources say” and there are no sources.
So that would be the one thing that surprised me. The level of corruption and the level of Fake News.
CL: If the American people could only remember you for one thing, what is the single greatest achievement so far of your presidency?
THE PRESIDENT: So, I would say that it would be the economy, and that means a whole lot of things. That takes care of regulation, taxes, everything. So, number one would be the economy and putting people to work.
More people are working today than in the history of our country. Millions and millions of people who were never working before. More people working today.
And the other thing would be judges. When I got here, I had 145 judges (vacancies), and Court of Appeals judges. The reason is President Obama, for whatever reason, got tired or bored or something, and when I came here, I had 145 judges! We’ve gotten 68 approved, and you’ll get the exact number but I think it’s 68. That’s a big deal.
When I finish, if I go just by a normal attrition rate, you know, judges retire, they leave office for various reasons including health and age, it’s possible that I’ll have replaced more than 50 percent of the judiciary. Not including, so far, looks like two Supreme Court judges. He should get approved.
It’s terrible what they’re doing to him. His character, what they’re doing.
BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
CL: What’s the best part of your job? You had it all before you came here. What’s the best part of being the president?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re doing a lot of good things for a lot of people. And I’m enjoying doing it. I’m enjoying doing it. We’re doing a lot of good for a lot of people.
DB: Even with all the anger and the resistance?
THE PRESIDENT: It looks like in the real polls that no one comes close to beating us. So far, it’s a dream ticket. And people get it. Why are there people standing twenty blocks long to get into an arena, and I won’t be there for four hours. People are getting it.
CL: You ran a business. When you were on the 26th floor, everybody came to you, and you made all the decisions. Everybody came to you and they Let Trump be Trump.
That’s what I saw from day one. The structure of the White House is very different from what you’re used to. How is it different?
THE PRESIDENT: This is probably, maybe it’s the right thing, but it’s certainly a different atmosphere. I don’t know that it’s better for me. The other thing might be better for me. More open. More of an open atmosphere.
Because some people who wanna get through just don’t know how to get through. I like to have people get through. But it’s very organized. It’s unbelievably non-chaotic.
CL: I think it’s the opposite. You like the action. You like to make decisions and—we’re saying the structure is very different from the 26th floor.
THE PRESIDENT: I think so. And I could change the structure if I wanted to. It’s actually very calm. Now the press likes to create stories, just last week I was sitting here with some of the biggest executives in the world about economic development coming to the United States.
And we go into the other room and the television is on. They have a reporter on from a certain network and he’s saying “Donald Trump is upstairs in the living quarters and he’s throwing tantrums and he’s throwing fits.”
And he’s outside, and I’m inside, calmly talking to some of the biggest executives. And they say, “Sir, you’re not upstairs.” They’re Fake News. They’re liars.
[The president stood and we did too. He came around the Resolute desk and shook our hands and wished us good luck with the project. We then walked with Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Bill Shine out of the Oval Office passing the Vice President (who had left the interview) who was on the way back in. With that, the president was on his way to the rally in Las Vegas, and we had work to do on the book.]