On Wednesday, President Trump basically admitted that he removed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to end Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
In an interview with conservative website the Daily Caller, Trump was asked for his thoughts on his attorney general switch. Whitaker’s appointment last week was immediately beset with controversy: He is being investigated by the FBI for his role in a scam company, and a number of legal experts argue that he is constitutionally unable to fill the office because he wasn’t Senate confirmed.
Trump said Whitaker was “somebody who’s very respected.” He added: “I knew him only as he pertained, you know, as he was with Jeff Sessions. And, um, you know, look, as far as I’m concerned this is an investigation that should have never been brought. It should have never been had. It’s something that should have never been brought. It’s an illegal investigation. And you know, it’s very interesting because when you talk about not Senate confirmed, well, Mueller’s not Senate confirmed.”
Apparently, Trump wasn’t asked about Whitaker in reference to the Russia investigation. The Daily Caller’s transcript indicates that the president just went there.
This was not lost on Twitter.
Said former U.S. Attorney Mimi Rocah: “I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again: he obstructs in plain sight & confesses in plain sight.”
I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again: he obstructs in plain sight & confesses in plain sight. https://t.co/fAD9C42dOz
— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) November 15, 2018
Donald Trump’s Lester Holt moment 2.0
President admits in interview with Daily Caller: installing Matt Whitaker has everything to do with Trump’s view that the Russia investigation should not be happening. ? pic.twitter.com/KwJ6d2gvfJ
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) November 15, 2018
There’s no point in assigning ulterior motives to Trump when he’ll eventually tell you
— signed seal’d delivered (@k_brinst) November 15, 2018
I’m pretty sure Daredevil thwarted Whitaker’s evil scheming this season on Netflix.
— Douglas Barricklow (@DeepCoffee) November 15, 2018
Before joining the Justice Department as Sessions’ chief of staff in September 2017, Whitaker called the Mueller investigation a “witch hunt” and suggested it could be effectively discontinued by starving it of funds. Whitaker now oversees that investigation.
Last week, Trump said he didn’t know Whitaker, even though they’ve met more than a dozen times in the Oval Office, according to CNN. “And over the last year, Whitaker has told friends about his growing relationship with Trump,” the news channel reported last Friday. “The President knew that he had played football and the tall, brawny former US attorney fit the image Trump liked, according to people familiar with their conversations, far more than the diminutive Sessions, whom Trump mocked.”
The FBI said on Friday afternoon that it was investigating a company where Whitaker was a board member. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI’s Miami office are looking into World Patent Marketing, which the Federal Trade Commission accused of defrauding consumers of more than $26 million. The company, which counted Whitaker as an adviser and promised to help inventors secure patents, settled in March.
Senate Democrats are considering a lawsuit over Whitaker’s appointment.