Mr Trump speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden. Picture: AP/Evan Vucci
Mr Trump speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden. Picture: AP/Evan Vucci

Trump drags Australia into FBI probe

US President Donald Trump has announced he wants Australia's role in sparking the FBI probe into links between Russia and his election campaign examined by US Attorney-General William Barr.

Despite Australia's historically strong alliance with the United States, President Trump specifically named Australia as a nation whose part in what he calls the "Russia hoax" must be thoroughly investigated.

"What I've done is I've declassified everything," Mr Trump told AAP reporters at the White House on Friday before departing on a trip to Japan.

"He can look and I hope he looks at the UK and I hope he looks at Australia and I hope he looks at Ukraine.

"I hope he looks at everything, because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country."In addition to President Trump's allegations, his former campaign aide George Papadopoulos is also pointing the finger at Australia. Mr Papadopoulos has claimed Australia's former high commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, spied on him during a meeting at a London bar in May, 2016.

While he rejected the claims, Mr Downer confirmed that during the meeting Mr Papadopoulos told him Russia had damaging material on Mr Trump's presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

The information was forwarded to Canberra and then passed on to US intelligence services and the FBI.

US Special Counsel Bob Mueller, in his report on the links between the Trump campaign and Russia, stated the Papadopoulos-Downer meeting was what prompted the FBI to open its probe on July 31, 2016.

President Donald Trump spoke to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 24, 2019. Picture: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Donald Trump spoke to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 24, 2019. Picture: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

During his Friday address, Mr Trump also mentioned discussing "Five Eyes spying" with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"I may very well talk to her about that, yeah," Mr Trump said. "There's word and rumour that the FBI and others were involved, CIA were involved, with the UK, having to do with the Russian hoax," Mr Trump said.

Five Eyes is the intelligence sharing alliance between the US, Australia, UK, Canada and New Zealand.


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