Trump: IG report documents 'attempted overthrow' of government

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday that a new Justice Department report that found a solid legal basis for the original FBI investigation of his 2016 campaign had actually documented an "attempted overthrow" of the government that was "far worse than I ever thought possible."

"We're lucky we caught 'em," he said at the White House, following the release of the long-awaited report by the Justice Department's watchdog that rebutted his regular depiction of a politically biased plot against him.

The report by the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI and the Justice Department launched their investigation into the 2016 campaign not for political reasons, but due to evidence the Russian government was using go-betweens to reach out to the Trump campaign as part of its efforts to influence the election.

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Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies during a Judiciary Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies during a Judiciary Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Adam Hickey, Bill Priestap, assistant director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz are sworn in during a Judiciary Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies during a Judiciary Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 29: Michael Horowitz, inspector General with the Department of Justice, in his office on August, 29, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 26: Michael Horowitz, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled 'Oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections' in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, July 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. On Tuesday, the committee withdrew its subpoena for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as he agreed to turn over documents and continue negotiating about being interviewed by the committee. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz (R) testifies with National Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough (L) and Homeland Security Department Inspector General John Roth before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee about the lessons learned about intelligence and information sharing after the Boston Marathon bombings April 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Despite errors and inaccuracies in the information itself, the inspectors general said that sharing between different law enforcement agencies was successful prior to the April 15, 2013 bombing that left three people dead and scores injured. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Michael Horowitz, inspector general with the U.S. Department Of Justice (DOJ), swears in to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. The hearing is entitled Oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections: Lessons Learned from Current and Prior Administrations. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bill Priestap (L), assistant director for the FBI's Counterintelligence Division; and and Michael Horowitz, inspector general of the Justice Department; chat before the Senate Judiciary Committee Full committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on July 26, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05: Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing August 5, 2015 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on the topic of 'All Means All: The Justice Department's Failure to Comply With Its Legal Obligation to Ensure Inspector General Access to All Records Needed For Independent Oversight.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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The finding undercut repeated claims by Trump has his allies that the Russia investigation was a politically-motivated "witch hunt" designed to prevent him from becoming president and that his campaign was spied on by the Obama administration.

Trump sought to shift focus to the report's finding that the FBI mishandled parts of its application to monitor a former Trump campaign aide as it probed possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, rather than focusing on the conclusion that the overall investigation was justified and not politically motivated.

Just months into his presidency. Trump claimed that President Barack Obama had his phones lines tapped in Trump Tower, a claim he said earlier this year "turned out to be true," despite no evidence of any such action. Today's report said that was not the case.

Before the report was released, Trump had looked to promote it over the impeachment hearings taking place the same day.

"I.G. report out tomorrow. That will be the big story!" he tweeted Sunday.

Trump has also been seeking to shift the focus to another report being carried out by U.S. Attorney John H. Durham, who was appointed by the attorney general to look into the origins of the investigation.

In an unusual move for an investigator who has yet to conclude his work, Durham said in a Monday statement that he had "advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

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