WASHINGTON – In at least one way, Donald Trump is like so many people in Washington – he’s anxious to see “the Mueller report.”
Amid speculation that special counsel Robert Mueller will soon issue findings on his investigation into Russian election interference, Trump on Wednesday again proclaimed his innocence and attacked Mueller. Then the president said he doesn’t mind if the special counsel’s report is made public.
“Let’s see whether or not it’s legit,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Speaking as he left the White House for a trip to Ohio, Trump said Attorney General William Barr will decide what to release, but he personally doesn’t mind if it becomes public. “Let it come out, let people see it,” he said.
As aides like attorney Rudy Giuliani said Mueller could submit his report any day, Trump said, “I have no idea when it’s going to be released,” and again denounced the entire process with a number of dubious claims.
“It’s interesting that a man gets appointed by a deputy, he writes a report,” Trump said. “Never figure that one out.”
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Mueller was indeed appointed special counsel in May 2017 by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He made the appointment, however, because then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from matters dealing with the Russia case because he had worked on the Trump campaign.
Justice Department regulations require Mueller to submit a confidential report to the attorney general when his investigation is complete.
Mueller’s appointment came shortly after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, a matter that is part of an investigation into whether Trump sought to obstruct justice with respect to the Russia probe.
In his latest rant against Mueller, Trump said the special counsel has a conflict of interest because he is Comey’s “best friend.” But there is no evidence that is the case; Comey only succeeded Mueller as FBI director.
Trump also said, “I had a nasty business transaction” with Mueller, apparently a reference that Mueller once resigned from the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.
The special counsel’s office, however, said in a statement that “Mr. Mueller left the club in October 2011 without dispute.”
Trump again denied any collusion with Russia as it hacked the emails of prominent Democrats and released damaging information about them ahead of the 2016 vote. He also denied any attempt to obstruction justice.
Claiming “the greatest electoral victory, one of them, in the history of our country,” Trump said that “now somebody’s going to write a report, who never got a vote.”