Updated Mar 28, 2019

Trump: FBI officials committed treason in Russia probe

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump told Fox News' "Hannity" Wednesday FBI officials investigating possible Russia links to his campaign had "committed treason."

What he's saying: "They wanted an insurance policy against me,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity, referring to former FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who upset him previously over anti-Trump campaign texts. “And what we were playing out until just recently was the insurance policy. They wanted to do a subversion. It was treason ... We can never allow these treasonous acts happen to another president."

The big picture: Strzok was fired from the FBI in 2018 because of his anti-Trump texts with his then-colleague Page in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. He had worked on the Hillary Clinton email server investigation and joined Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation but was kicked off the team and demoted when the texts surfaced.

Why it matters: This is Trump's first interview since Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation concluded, and he didn't hold back in the wide-ranging phone interview.

On the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: Trump said he would release the FISA warrants and related documents used by the FBI to investigate his campaign in full and unredacted. He told Hannity he wanted to "get to the bottom" of how the long-running Russia collusion narrative began.

On the Mueller investigation: Trump called it "an attempted takeover of our government, of our country, an illegal takeover."

On William Barr: Trump said it would never have happened were Attorney General William Barr in the position from the start of his presidency. Barr said in a summary of the Mueller report Sunday that the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign engaged in a conspiracy with Russia. On obstruction of justice, Barr said the report "does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

On Russia: Trump said Russia would’ve "much rather" had Hillary Clinton as president than himself. "I will tell you this about Russia; if they had anything on me, it would have come out a long time ago," he said. "You look at all of the different things."

On the Green New Deal, spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "I really do want to campaign against it," Trump said. "It's ridiculous. The new green deal is going nowhere."

Editor's note: The section on William Barr has been corrected to show Barr said the Mueller investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with Russia.

Go deeper

Trump weighs quarantine of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said Saturday he's considering a short-term quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, which have already taken steps to help residents isolate. Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted to Trump's comments by telling CNN, "This would be a federal declaration of war on states" and that it would cause "chaos."

The big picture: With more than 121,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 660,706 — Total deaths: 30,652 — Total recoveries: 139,304.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 121,478 — Total deaths: 2,026 — Total recoveries: 1,072.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Coronavirus updates: Deaths surge in Italy and Spain

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has since Friday killed 889 more people in Italy and 832 others in Spain, which announced all non-essential workplaces would close for two weeks.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 on Saturday in the U.S., which leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 121,000, per John Hopkins. The number of those recovered from the virus in the United States passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 40 mins ago - Health