President Trump’s frustration with the Russia probe has finally reached its tipping point. During an intense new interview, Trump set a red line for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, warning against digging into his family finances beyond the Russia scope and suggesting he’ll soon start talking about the ex-FBI director’s “conflicts.”
The President has continuously complained about the Russia meddling probe, before and after it was placed in the hands of the special counsel. But his comments to The New York Times show he’s preparing to get even more aggressive in challenging the credibility of the investigation.
Specifically, he said Mueller would cross a red line if he started looking at Trump family finances going beyond any Russia connection.
”I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia,” Trump said.
The President did not indicate what circumstances, if any, he might order the Justice Department to fire Mueller. But he suggested that the special counsel was hiring lawyers who donated to his general election rival Hillary Clinton and called him out for having interviewed for the job to replace ex-FBI Director James Comey just before his appointment.
”He was up here and he wanted the job,” Trump told the Times.
Trump said after Mueller was named, he said to himself, “’What the hell is this all about?’ Talk about conflicts. But he was interviewing for the job. There were many other conflicts that I haven’t said, but I will at some point.”
During the same interview, Trump also denounced Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one of his earliest and staunchest supporters, for having recused himself in the Russia case.
“How do you take a job and then recuse yourself?” Trump asked rhetorically. “If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.'”
Sessions responded saying that despite the President’s comments, he will continue to serve as Attorney General.
AG Sessions announced on March 2 that he would recuse himself from overseeing the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election campaign.