Trump Blames Justice Dept. Corruption Under Obama, Jeff Sessions When Asked About Manafort
President Donald Trump sat down for an exclusive interview with Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt yesterday the day after perhaps the most difficult one of news for the embattled president.
After discussing the plea deal made by Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen that directly implicated Trump, Earhard asked if he was considering pardoning his former Campaign Chair, Paul Manafort, who had recently been found guilty of eight charges of banking and tax fraud.
Trump often answers in an what is charitably called an elliptical manner, filled with short run-on clauses. Critics might see his response as rambling and unfocused. He began by praising Manafort, but his answer quickly turned to Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.
“I have great respect for what he’s done,” Trump started on Manafort, before touting the operative’s political career.
He then railed against Clinton:
If you look at Hillary Clinton’s person, you take a look at the people that work for Hillary Clinton. I mean, look at the crimes that Clinton did. With the emails and she deletes 33,000 emails after she gets a subpoena from Congress, and this Justice Department does nothing about it? And all of the other crimes that they have done. And they — look at Podesta. Podesta was supposed to be Manafort on steroids. They made him close up his firm. He was going to be indicted the next day, we heard. Never happened. Instead, they go after Manafort.
Earhardt noted that “a lot of people are frustrated with the DOJ and Jeff Sessions,” then asked if Trump plans on firing Sessions and Rod Rosenstein after the midterm elections. She also added if he would use Executive Powers to get the DOJ documents released that GOP congress have requested from Rosenstein that has not yet been released.
Trump replied, “At the right time I think I will have to do the documents,” before blaming the previous administration for his DOJ problems. “There is such corruption before I got here. It’s from before I got here. It’s the Obama Administration you look at what happened? They’re surveilled my campaign. It’s very simple. The FISA report.” To her great credit, Earhard reminded the president that it was his own appointee Rod Rosenstein that had signed the last FISA report.
He then turned to specific criticism of the Justice Department saying “I always put justice now with quotes.” He then in anther Sessions rant saying “It’s a very, very sad day. Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done or he should have told me. Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in. He took the job and then he said I’m going to recuse myself I said what kind of a man is this?” By the way, he was on the campaign. The only reason I gave him the job I felt loyalty. He weighs an original supporter. He was on the campaign. He knows there was no collusion.”
Watch the clip above, courtesy of Fox News.
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