Trump on tweeting rampage is just what I expect: desperate attempt to destroy credibility of Mueller, news media, and anyone who criticizes him. Fear that he will finally be caught is prompting him to lash out and say anything to survive.— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) July 29, 2018
President Donald Trump went on a typical, lengthy Twitter rant against the Russian investigation — again.
There is No Collusion! The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
However, this time he directly targeted Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading the investigation, and accused him of “conflict of interest” which, according to Trump, rendered the Russian probe illegal.
The accusations by the president came a week after his former attorney, Michael Cohen, released an audio recording of Trump and him discussing hush money payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who allegedly had an affair with the POTUS. Cohen also claimed Trump already knew of the infamous Trump Tower meeting that was set up with Russians to get dirt on then-candidate Hillary Clinton.
In his tweet-storm, Trump repeated many of his previous allegations in which he accused Mueller of hiring Democrats on his team and falsely claimed the Russian investigation stemmed from the dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele.
The tweets from Trump elaborated on Mueller’s alleged conflict of interest based on “a very nasty & contentious business relationship” between the pair.
Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
....Also, why is Mueller only appointing Angry Dems, some of whom have worked for Crooked Hillary, others, including himself, have worked for Obama....And why isn’t Mueller looking at all of the criminal activity & real Russian Collusion on the Democrats side-Podesta, Dossier?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
However, Trump’s claims of “conflict of interests” are largely unsubstantiated.
Although, Mueller did serve as FBI director under the Obama administration but his appointment was made by President George W. Bush in 2001 and was merely extended under Former President Barack Obama.
As for the claims of hiring Democrats for the investigation, Mueller is a registered Republican and so are Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The Justice Department determined the appointment of Mueller as the Special Counsel fell in line with ethics rules after he was appointed by Rosenstein, a Trump appointee.
A New York Times report, in January, alleged Trump tried to fire Mueller in June 2017 but backed out of the decision. The conflicts of interest cited by the president in the report were: a dispute over fees at Trump National Golf Club, which the spokesman for Mueller denied; work for a law firm that once represented the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner; and an interview for FBI director a day, where Trump claims he rejected Mueller to lead the agency, before being named Special Counsel — the interview was for the potential replacement of fired FBI director James Comey.
As for the origin of the Russian investigation, Trump is apparently misinformed.
The POTUS claims the investigation began based on the “Steele dossier,” however, in reality the Russian probe commenced in July 2016, according to the New York Times, when FBI received a tip regarding Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who informed Australian officials of dirt on Clinton collected via Russian sources. A report by the Republican-controlled House intelligence committee also corroborated the claims.
Papadopoulos also pleaded guilty of lying to the FBI and is co-operating with the Russian investigation, along with several other Trump campaign members.
This is not the first time Trump has accused Mueller of having “conflicts of interest” but this is the first time he has publicly gone into detail about what those might be — without much proof.
Trump has tweeted about Mueller 22 times.— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) July 29, 2018
-16 of those tweets are from the past 2 months
-7 of those tweets are from the past week
-3 of those tweets are from today pic.twitter.com/3Mnj6hhTQC
It was also reported the Special Counsel would be combing through Trump’s tweets for obstruction of justice – which probably should be a sign for Trump to lay off his mobile phone for now.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/ Joshua Roberts