Politics

Trump Flings Some of Harshest Words Yet at Robert Mueller

Top Obama aide fires back, says president shows ‘insecurity’ and ‘culpability’

President Trump criticized Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III again on Tuesday morning. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump flung some of his harshest words yet at Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Tuesday, calling the former FBI director who is investigating his 2016 campaign “a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue.”

Trump’s latest broadside against Mueller prompted swift pushback from a former senior Obama administration official, John Brennan, who shot back his stance that Trump’s “feelings of inferiority, insecurity, vulnerability, and culpability are loud & clear.”

The president began by again labeling Mueller’s probe a “Phony Witch Hunt” and accusing him of “only looking at one side, not the other.” That is a reference to Trump’s contention of Democratic collusion in 2016 with Russia, rather than his own campaign, as well as 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

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“Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie,” the president wrote, referring to former campaign associates who have pleaded guilty or been indicted by Mueller’s team or other federal prosecutors.

Trump, who has faced charges of undermining the Justice Department and longstanding legal traditions, fired off two more tweets accusing Mueller of “doing TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System” and predicting “Heroes will come of this, and it won’t be Mueller and his.......terrible Gang of Angry Democrats.”

(Fact Check: Mueller was first appointed FBI director by GOP President George W. Bush and was appointed special counsel by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, once a conservative Republican senator from deep-red Alabama.)

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Trump contended Mueller, who has yet to release a final report — or reports — as his probe continues, has “nothing but ruined lives” to show for his months of work.

Brennan, who was CIA director under former President Barack Obama, fired back a few minutes later.

“Your feelings of inferiority, insecurity, vulnerability, and culpability are loud & clear,” he said in a tweet of his own directed at Trump, adding the U.S. president reminds him of “how many corrupt authoritarian leaders abroad behaved before they were deposed.”

Some of Trump’s personal and White House legal advisers long cautioned him to avoid publicly criticizing Mueller. But in recent weeks, Trump has discarded that advice and gone right after the special counsel.

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