Donald Trump on Friday morning defended his behavior and comments surrounding the Russia investigation, saying he "learned a lot from Richard Nixon" about how to handle probes into his administration.
"I learned a lot. I study history," Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends — referring to what he learned from Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre," in which Nixon fired Department of Justice officials looking into his handling of the Watergate scandal.
"And the firing of everybody — I should've in one way, but I'm glad I didn't because look at the way it turned out. They're all a bunch of crooks and they got caught."
Trump continued, "Of course, there was one difference, one big difference. Number one, he may have been guilty. And number two, he had tapes all over the place. I wasn't guilty. I did nothing wrong, and there are no tapes. But I wish there were tapes in my case."
Trump's comment is laden with lies and inaccuracies.
First, Trump did fire people in relation to the Russia investigation, including former FBI Director James Comey. Trump also tried to fire former special counsel Robert Mueller but was thwarted by then-White House counsel Don McGahn.
Trump has also been caught on tape committing alleged crimes and bad behavior.
Here are the five times Trump's alleged crimes and corruption have been caught on tape:
"Russia, If You're Listening"
During the 2016 election, Trump specifically asked Russia to find the emails deleted from Hillary Clinton's private server.
"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said at a news conference at the time. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."
Russia apparently was listening to Trump, as the country made its first attempt to hack into Clinton's server that very same day, according to an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking and meddling in the 2016 election.
"Grab 'Em By The Pussy"
The now-infamous Access Hollywood tape, released in October 2016, caught Trump openly admitting to sexual assault.
"You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," Trump said on the tape.
"Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything," Trump continued.
"Pay With Cash"
Trump paid off the model, Karen McDougal, through an elaborate scheme.
The scheme involved David Pecker, the head of the National Enquirer's parent company, agreeing to purchase the exclusive rights to McDougal's story, only to kill the story so it would never see the light of day.
"We'll have to pay," Cohen tells Trump in the tape. To which Trump responds, "pay with cash."
The payments amounted to a violation of campaign finance laws, as Trump paid to keep the information secret so that it did not influence the campaign.
"Mr. Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign," Cohen said in congressional testimony in February 2019.
Cohen continued, "I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later."
"I Was Going To Fire Comey"
Trump admitted to NBC's Lester Holt that he was thinking about the Russia investigation when he decided to fire Comey.
"I was going to fire Comey. Knowing, there was no good time to do it. And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election,'" Trump told Holt in 2017.
Mueller listed Comey's firing as one of 11 instances Trump committed possible obstruction of justice. Mueller did not indict Trump on obstruction of justice because he concluded he could not indict a sitting president.
"Get Rid Of Her!"
Trump was caught on tape ordering the firing of then U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
"Get rid of her!" Trump said of Yovanovitch in a recording from Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani. "Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it."
Parnas was involved in Trump's scheme to try and get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden over a debunked conspiracy theory.
Trump fired Yovanovitch because she was seen as an impediment to getting Ukraine to launch the Biden probe.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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