Trump Says He Has An 'Absolute Right' To Control The Justice Department




Trump Says He Has An 'Absolute Right' To Control The Justice Department
Trump Says He Has An 'Absolute Right' To Control The Justice Department  

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he believes he holds ultimate authority to direct the Department of Justice as he sees fit, while noting the ongoing inquiry into Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election has made the country "look very bad."

Trump, speaking in an impromptu interview with The New York Times from his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida, said more than a dozen times that no collusion had been uncovered during the sweeping probe by special counsel Robert Mueller. While he noted that the sooner the inquiry was completed, "the better it is for the country," Trump also broke with his most ardent supporters and said he believed Mueller would treat him fairly.

"I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department," he told the Times. "But for purposes of hopefully thinking I'm going to be treated fairly, I've stayed uninvolved with this particular matter."

The president's comments, made without any aides present, once again appear to undermine the DOJ's ability to operate as an entity independent of the political whims of the White House.

Trump's surrogates have moved in recent months to discredit Mueller's investigation, and rumors have swirled for weeks that the president may fire the special counsel. The president ― who has denied he planned to remove Mueller ― has repeatedly called the probe a "witch hunt" and insisted on his innocence, saying there was no collusion with the Russian government by members of his presidential campaign.

"There's been no collusion," Trump told the Times. "But I think he's going to be fair."

The White House has also rejected assertions by the country's leading intelligence agencies that Russia did meddle in the election, and Trump in November said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin's denials of such interference.

"Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that,' and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it," Trump said of Putin, according to the Times. "I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country."

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was forced to defend Mueller's investigation earlier this month in the midst of criticisms, saying he believed the investigation was "appropriately remaining in his scope" and that the special counsel was "conducting himself appropriately."

In Thursday's interview, Trump expressed regret that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation, which led to the appointment of Mueller.

"It's too bad Jeff recused himself," he said. "I like Jeff, but it's too bad he recused himself."

Read excerpts from the Times interview here.

COMMENTS

More Related News

France
France's Macron pushes back at 'America First' agenda

France's President Emmanuel Macron urged the United States to embrace multilateralism and warned of the perils of trade war, in an address to Congress pushing back against Donald Trump's "America First" agenda. The French leader's speech to lawmakers was a dramatic twist at the

GOP unsettled by narrow win in US House race in Arizona
GOP unsettled by narrow win in US House race in Arizona

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - It took a big money push from the Republican Party, tweets by the president and the support of the state's current and former governors, but the GOP held onto an Arizona U.S. House seat they would have never considered endangered in any other year.

Republican wins US House race in Arizona GOP stronghold
Republican wins US House race in Arizona GOP stronghold

Republican Debbie Lesko won the special election in Arizona's 8th Congressional District on Tuesday, keeping the U.S. House seat in GOP control but by a much narrower margin than expected. The former state senator defeated Hiral Tipirneni, a former emergency room physician who had hoped to replicate

Trump and France
Trump and France's Macron seek to resolve differences on Iran deal
  • World
  • 2018-04-24 17:58:33Z

By Jeff Mason and Marine Pennetier WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Tuesday to try to resolve U.S.-European differences on Iran but Trump gave no clear signal about whether he would carry out a threat to abandon an international nuclear

Trump: Kim Jong Un
Trump: Kim Jong Un 'very open' and 'very honorable'

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Kim Jong Un wants a historic, high-stakes meeting as soon as possible and suggested the North Korean dictator has been "very open" and "very honorable," a sharply different assessment of a leader he once denounced as "Little

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.