President Donald Trump has once again lambasted the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and chastised Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the probe.
Trump appeared to directly float the idea of firing special counsel Robert Mueller at the start of his military leadership meeting on Monday, calling the special counsel’s investigation a “disgrace” and defending his firing of former FBI Director James Comey as the “right thing” to do.
“Why don’t I just fire Mueller?” Trump asked in response to a reporter’s question. “Well, I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on. We’ll see what happens, but I think it’s really a sad situation ... Many people have said you should fire him. Again, they found nothing, and in finding nothing, that’s a big statement.”
Trump’s comments came shortly after the FBI reportedly raided the office and hotel room of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, on Monday afternoon. Agents seized documents relating to a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, the adult film star, as well as emails, tax records and business documents, according to The New York Times.
Cohen’s attorney told the outlet a search warrant was issued after a referral from Mueller, but wasn’t directly related to his investigation.
“The decision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary,” the lawyer, Stephen Ryan, told NBC in a statement. “It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients.”
The president responded with fury after the raid, calling Mueller’s investigation a “total witch hunt” and a “disgraceful situation” in Monday’s meeting.
On Tuesday morning, he resumed fuming on Twitter.
Trump also slammed Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation last year.
“The attorney general made a terrible mistake when he did this ... he certainly should have let us know if he was going to recuse himself, and we would have put a different attorney general in,” the president said Monday. “So he made what I consider to be a very terrible mistake for the country.”
Trump has repeatedly stated he wouldn’t have appointed Sessions if had known he wouldn’t oversee the Russia investigation and has routinely said the action directly led Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued a stark warning to Trump in a series of tweets late Monday.
“If [the president] is thinking of using the FBI raid to fire Special Counsel Mueller or otherwise interfere with the chain of command in the Russia probe, we Democrats have one simple message for him: don’t,” Schumer wrote. “Mueller, a Republican, has uncovered a deep & detailed pattern of Russian interference in our elections that led to indictments & guilty pleas. It also led to the Trump admin itself leveling sanctions against Russian individuals, proof that it’s not a so-called ‘witch-hunt.’”
This article has been updated to include Trump’s tweets Tuesday morning.