Trump Says His Russia Probe Fight Is Wrongly Seen as Obstruction
Trump Rails Against Mueller Calling Obstruction a ‘Phony Crime’
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump slammed Robert Mueller as "disgraced and discredited" and said any attempts he’s made to counter the special prosecutor’s probe have prompted Mueller and his team to "scream obstruction."
The president took to Twitter Monday morning with a series of posts coming amid a spat that started during the weekend over Mueller’s reported 30 hours of questioning of White House Counsel Donald McGahn.
"Disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller and his whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs spent over 30 hours with the White House Councel, only with my approval, for purposes of transparency,” Trump said in one tweet, misspelling McGahn’s title. Anybody needing that much time when they know there is no Russian Collusion is just someone “looking for trouble,” he said in a follow-up message.
“Where’s the Collusion? They made up a phony crime called Collusion, and when there was no Collusion they say there was Obstruction (of a phony crime that never existed). If you FIGHT BACK or say anything bad about the Rigged Witch Hunt, they scream Obstruction!” Trump continued.
Trump’s escalation of the war with Mueller comes as a jury deliberates whether to convict former campaign chief Paul Manafort on charges he lied to banks in order to secure loans and hid millions offshore to thwart the Internal Revenue Service. His former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is mired in accusations he lied to obtain loans for several taxi businesses and arranged payments to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, the New York Times reported.
Trump spent much of the weekend trying to dispel the notion that McGahn "had TURNED" on him in an development that would evoke John Dean, White House counsel to Richard Nixon.
The president tweeted on Saturday, hours after a lengthy New York Times story reported that McGahn has had at least three voluntary interviews with investigators on the special counsel’s team, totaling some 30 hours, over the past nine months.
Trump’s latest comments represented an escalation of his personal attacks on Mueller, who he’s accused of political bias and unnamed "conflicts of interest." Standing next to Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month, he called Mueller’s investigation of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election a "disaster."
To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Derek Wallbank at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth Wasserman, Kathleen Hunter
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.