President Donald Trump on Monday accused unnamed people involved in the Justice Department’s special counsel investigation of “treasonous” acts and said he is not opposed to the release of Robert S. Mueller III’s report.
“There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things — I would say treasonous things against our country,” Trump said in what sounded like a warning.
“It’s up to the attorney general. Wouldn’t bother me at all,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office at the start of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when asked if he supports Attorney General William Barr releasing Mueller’s report.
Minutes earlier, he declined to answer a Roll Call reporter’s question about whether he would order Barr to release the report. Barr told lawmakers in a Sunday letter, he found no evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, while also not exonerating him on obstruction of justice.
The president described the special counsel’s investigation as being based on a “false narrative.”
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He also vowed that unnamed individuals that played a role in the Justice Department’s actions related to his campaign and Russia will be “looked at.” He did not explain what that might mean, but he alleged those people committed “treasonous” and “evil” acts.
During a ceremony minutes earlier, during which Trump signed a proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory, the president was asked if he thinks Mueller conducted himself honorably. “Yes,” Trump replied after hammering the former FBI director for months for conducting what he hailed a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”
“We can never let this happen to another president again. I can tell you that. I say it very strongly,” said Trump, who did not lay out any steps or laws or Justice regulations he is considering that would be aimed at just that.
And, as always, he found a way to tout himself.
“Very few people I know could have handled it,” he said, before reiterating: “We can never ever let this happen to another president again.”
Netanyahu provided a lighter moment in his own dig at the Mueller investigation. During the proclamation-signing ceremony, he informed Trump he brought a case of wine as a gift.
“I understand you’re not a great wine drinker,” he told the non-imbibing Trump, “but could I give it to your staff?”
“Yes,” a smiling Trump replied before Netanyahu quipped: “I hope they don't open an investigation on it.”