National Security

Trump launches Twitter tirade at Mueller ahead of expected Manafort filing

President Trump on Friday unleashed a barrage of early-morning tweets aimed at Robert Mueller, blasting him as a conflicted and biased special counsel before Mueller is expected to file new documents in the Russia investigation. 

The president called the investigation “a total Witch Hunt” and also sought to undermine the credibility of his own deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing the probe, by arguing he is “totally conflicted.”

{mosads}”Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest,” Trump tweeted, referring to the man he fired as FBI director. 

 

In a subsequent tweet, Trump asked if “Robert Mueller’s big time conflicts of interest [will] be listed at the top of his Republicans only Report.” 

He also argued that the Justice Department should investigate 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Foundation. 

“Will all of the substantial & many contributions made by the 17 Angry Democrats to the Campaign of Crooked Hillary be listed in top of Report. Will the people that worked for the Clinton Foundation be listed at the top of the Report?” he wrote. 

 

The tweets come on what is expected to be a momentous day in Mueller’s long-running investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. 

His office is expected to submit new filings later in the day detailing the status of cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, both of whom pleaded guilty to separate charges. 

Trump’s tweets break a relatively brief period of silence on the Mueller probe during memorial services for former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Nov. 30.  

For the second time in recent weeks, the president turned his fire on Rosenstein. He asked if the No. 2 Justice Department official’s “scathing document written about Lyin’ James Comey” will be included in Mueller’s final report on the probe. 

Referring to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant signed by Rosenstein against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, Trump asked, “Isn’t Rod therefore totally conflicted?”  

The debate over whether Rosenstein should recuse himself has long hung over the Russia probe, but the deputy attorney general said he has consulted with appropriate officials and that his position did not present a conflict. 

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, a Trump loyalist, is now believed to be overseeing the probe in the wake of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s ouster. 

The president last week retweeted a photoshopped image showing several Trump opponents in jail, including Rosenstein, suggesting they should be locked up for treason. 

The president also took aim at top Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann, calling him a “horrible and vicious” prosecutor who “wrongly destroyed people’s lives, took down great companies.”

Updated at 9:12 a.m. 

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton James Comey Jeff Sessions Paul Manafort Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein Russia Investigation Special counsel Trump tweets
See all Hill.TV See all Video