Trump defends handling of Russia probe: ‘Everything I’ve done has been 100 percent proper’


President Trump on Saturday pushed back on suggestions that he attempted to interfere with the Justice Department’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia.

In a press conference flanked by GOP leaders at Camp David, Trump responded to a New York Times article that said Trump had directed White House counsel Don McGahn last year to lobby Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself in the ongoing Russia investigation.

“Everything that I’ve done was 100 percent proper. The story, by the way, in the Times was way off, or at least off,” Trump said in response to a question from The Hill.

“But everything I’ve done has been 100 percent proper. That’s what I do, I do things proper,” he said.


Trump’s comments came after the Times reported Thursday that the president ordered McGahn to urge Sessions not to recuse himself in the probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The report said that Trump had also drafted a letter to now-fired FBI Director James Comey, in which Trump called the Russia probe “fabricated and politically motivated,” before being stopped by aides.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, following Comey’s firing, appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russia’s meddling in the election and ties to Trump’s campaign.

At the press conference Saturday, Trump also asserted that claims from some Democrats about his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia were now “dead.”

“I guess the collusion now is dead,” Trump said. “There’s been no collusion between us and the Russians. Now, there has been collusion between Hillary Clinton, the [Democratic National Committee (DNC)] and the Russians. Unfortunately, you people don’t cover that very much. But the only collusion is between Hillary and the Russians and the DNC.”

“But the story in the Times was off,” he added.

Pressed on how the story was off, Trump responded, “You’ll find out. But the story was off.”

Mueller’s team has so far brought charges against four former Trump campaign officials, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn and former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI. Manafort, along with his business associate Richard Gates, was charged with money laundering and tax fraud.

Tags Don McGahn Donald Trump Donald Trump George Papadopoulos Hillary Clinton James Comey James Comey Jeff Sessions Jeff Sessions Paul Manafort Robert Mueller Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein Russia Investigation Special counsel

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