Former FBI agent Peter Strzok said the American people have a "right to know" about President Donald Trump’s “financial entanglements” with Russia.
During a Wednesday appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the author of “Compromised” said much of the information that details Trump’s relationship with Russia is still classified.
He said what he saw was “deeply concerning.”
“Absolutely there are things that are not known that would still be damaging,” Strzok said of classified information about the president. “The decision to release that is up to the administration. You’ve seen them expansively declassify material, which unsurprisingly tends to all be helpful to President Trump. There’s a lot of material that simply is classified and that I can’t talk about, but it’s there.”
He said he believes the American public has a “right to know” what the information says, but the job of releasing it is up to the administration.
“I can’t go declassifying information,” he noted. “I’m going to honor my oath to both the office that I held, as well as the security clearance that I held. That information, the American public deserves it, and the administration, frankly, deserves to have that known, as well.”
He said the FBI knew that Trump was lying in 2016 when he denied having financial interests in Russia. As Trump told Americans he didn't have any financial ties to the country, Strzok said Trump's personal attorney was negotiating a deal to bring a Trump tower to Moscow. He said Russian leader Vladimir Putin also knew Trump was lying to the American people, which is where the coercive relationship between the leaders likely began.
“If you look at the scope of his businesses relationship to Russia, going back decades,” Strzok said. “If you look at the statement by one of his sons about the disproportionate amount of Russian holdings that represented the Trump financial assets, all of these things speak to an ability of Russian interests, of illicit interests, to hold him under their sway and get him to do things that, frankly, we can’t explain.”
Strzok said Trump has remained silent on a range of incidents involving Russia, such as Russia placing bounties on the heads of American soldiers in Afghanistan and the attempted assassination of Alexei Navalny, because Russia holds leverage over him.
“There is leverage that Russia holds over him that is causing him to act in his rather than America’s national security interest.”
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