“I will tell you this about Russia, if they had anything on me, it would have come out a long time ago, probably a long time before I ran because they would have been much better off,” Trump said in his first interview since the end of Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“I hope we really get along well with them but they would have been a lot better off with Hillary Clinton as president,” he continued.
The president went on to claim that the Kremlin had more reason to back Clinton, who would have only helped Russia’s energy industry as the Democratic candidate opposed American oil and gas drilling.
“In terms of energy, in terms of oil and gas. Look at what we’re going with the energy, it's incredible in our country. That’s tremendous competition for Russia. Hillary wouldn’t let you drill: there’d be no oil, there’d be no gas, there’d be no anything to compete,” Trump said.
Russia much rather have Hillary than Donald Trump. I can tell you that right now."
“Russia much rather have Hillary than Donald Trump. I can tell you that right now," he added.
The comments from Trump came amidst the end of the Mueller investigation into the collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – finding no evidence of a conspiracy to coordinate the efforts to get elected, according to the letter written by Attorney General William Barr.
While the Russia probe didn’t find evidence of collusion, it’s likely to take weeks before the Mueller report could be seen by the Congress.
In the same interview, Trump vowed to release the full and unredacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and related documents used by the FBI to probe his campaign, saying he wants to “get to the bottom” of how the long-running Russia collusion narrative began.
Trump said that his lawyers previously had advised him not to take that dramatic step out of fear that it could be considered obstruction of justice.
“I do, I have plans to declassify and release. I have plans to absolutely release,” Trump said. “I have some very talented people working for me, lawyers, and they really didn't want me to do it early on. ... A lot of people wanted me to do it a long time ago. I'm glad I didn't do it. We got a great result without having to do it, but we will. One of the reasons that my lawyers didn't want me to do it, is they said, if I do it, they'll call it a form of obstruction.”
Trump added: “Frankly, thought it would be better if we held it to the end. But at the right time, we will be absolutely releasing.”