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NY attorney: ‘Very weird and peculiar’ that Trump called me 3 times before I was fired

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Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, on Sunday said President Trump called him three times before he was fired. He reported at least one call to his chief of staff.

“It’s a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation without the attorney general, without warning between the president and me or any United States attorney who has been asked to investigate various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the president,” Bharara said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Bharara said Trump called him twice during the transition and once after the inauguration. He said he never returned the final call.


“So the call came in. I got a message. We deliberated over it, thought it was inappropriate to return the call. And 22 hours later I was asked to resign along with 45 other people,” he said. 

Bharara said former President Barack Obama never called him while he was serving in the Justice Department.

“The number of times I would have been expected to be called by the president of the United States would be zero because there has to be some kind of arm’s length relationship given the jurisdiction that various people had,” Bharara said.

Bharara described the first call as “a little bit uncomfortable,” but noted Trump at the time was the president-elect.

Bharara stopped short of saying Trump was seeking to develop a “patronage” relationship with him, something former FBI Director James Comey testified he felt Trump was seeking to do during their private meetings.

“That’s not the word I use,” Bharara said. “I was in discussions with my own folks, and in reporting the phone call to the chief of staff to the attorney general I said, it appeared to be that he was trying to cultivate some kind of relationship.”

The former U.S. attorney was fired in March.

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