Trump orders declassification of 2016 ‘Russian interference hoax’ documents

PTI, Oct 7, 2020, 8:47 AM IST

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered total declassification of all the documents related to the alleged interference of Russia in the 2016 presidential elections, which he described as a hoax. “I have fully authorised the total declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!” Trump said in a tweet Tuesday night.

The announcement came hours after the director of national intelligence declassified some of the documents.

The handwritten documents revealed former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former US president Barack Obama on the purported plan of Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, to tie Trump to Russia as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server, Fox News said.

Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director, in a statement, said it is known that Hillary Clinton hatched a plan to divert attention away from her use of a private email server by falsely tying then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia.

“We also know that former CIA director John Brennan briefed Obama on that plot. It is imperative that the American people now learn what then vice president Joe Biden knew about this conspiracy and when he knew it,” Murtaugh said.

“What did Biden know about Clinton’s plan to use the Russia hoax to try to smear her political opponent? Did Biden condone the plan? Did he express any misgivings about it or remain silent? Biden must give a full accounting of his knowledge and his conversations about Clinton’s scheme, which was known to the highest reaches of his administration,” he said.

US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe in a statement to Fox News said the declassified documents were transmitted to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees Tuesday afternoon.

These documents explained that Brennan’s handwritten notes were taken after briefing Obama on the matter, the news channel said.

“We are getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED], Brennan notes read. CITE [summarising] alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service,” Fox News read Brennan’s notes.

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