Trump denounces "very bothersome" ties between Robert Mueller and James Comey

The president has an upcoming interview on "Fox and Friends" in which he tries to discredit his special counsel

Published June 23, 2017 8:22AM (EDT)

 (Getty/Ethan Miller)
(Getty/Ethan Miller)

President Donald Trump has tried to sow the seeds of doubt against special counsel Robert Mueller in a Friday interview with "Fox and Friends."

After describing Mueller's friendship with former FBI Director James Comey as "very bothersome," Trump went on to hint that he may dismiss Mueller as special counsel. In response to a question about whether Mueller should step down from the investigation (there is no indication he has even thought about doing that), Trump ominously replied, "We're going to have to see."


Trump also blamed Obama somehow, saying:

"I didn't tape [Comey]. You never know what's happening when you see the Obama administration — and perhaps longer than that — was doing all this unmasking and surveillance. If you read all about it — and I've been reading about it for the last couple of months — about the seriousness and the horrible situation with surveillance all over the place. And you've been hearing the word unmasking — a word you've probably never heard before — so you never know what's out there. But I didn't tape. And I don't have any tape. And I didn't tape. But when he found out there may be tapes out there . . . I think his story may have changed.

Trump claimed that Comey's story "may have changed" when the president mentioned that he may have taped their conversations, "because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events."

He also insisted that "my story was always a straight story, my story was always the truth."

Trump had previously suggested there were tapes.

Earlier Friday, a Washington Post story described how Trump makes a point each morning of speaking by phone "with a member of his outside legal team to chew over all things Russia." While the purpose of these calls is "part strategy consultation and part presidential venting session," the Post notes that the sessions aren't always effective in containing Trump's seething rage about the fact that the investigation into his campaign's alleged collusion with Russia isn't going away. Trump has not ruled out the possibility of firing Mueller in the past.

As Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow has put it: "Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive. But the president is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside. And I’m not going to speculate on what he will or will not do." Trump's die-hard supporters, pundit Ann Coulter and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have also taken to Twitter to lay the foundations for the case for potentially firing Mueller.


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He specializes in covering science, health and history, and is particularly passionate about climate change, animal science, disability rights, plastic pollution and the intersections between science and politics. He has interviewed many prominent figures including former President Jimmy Carter, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, animal scientist and activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, actor George Takei, and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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