"Fox & Friends" had a very special guest this morning: President Donald Trump. But even the interview being under friendly circumstances for the president wasn’t enough to prevent Trump from being Trump, and resulted in potentially creating more legal headaches for him.
The president at times didn’t sound very presidential, frequently lashing out over a myriad of topics and sounding more like a disgruntled individual calling into a talk radio show. At times, his ranting and raving required the hosts to get Trump back on task, like when he started propping up his Electoral College win from 2016 again.
Trump concludes @foxandfriends interview by screaming about conflicts of interest on Robert Mueller's team, and promising to meddle more aggressively in the Department of Justice going forward. pic.twitter.com/ITak7tEEJJ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 26, 2018
Trump also delved into the Russia investigation, making complaints over special counsel Robert Mueller and criticisms of former FBI Director James Comey. Trump even threatened the Department of Justice at one point.
“[T]hey have a witch hunt against the president of the United States going on,” he said. “I‘ve taken the position, and I don't have to take this position, and maybe I'll change, that I will not be involved with the Justice Department.”
The president also seemed to confirm that he did in fact stay overnight in Moscow in 2013, during the Miss Universe pageant happening at that time. Previously, memos written by Comey had said Trump told him he didn't stay overnight.
"Of course I stayed there," Trump said on "Fox & Friends". "I stayed there a very short period of time, but of course I stayed. Well his memos said, 'I left immediately' — I never said that."
An infamous document known as the Steele Dossier alleges that Trump, while staying in Moscow, paid prostitutes to urinate on a bed in a hotel that once housed former President Barack Obama. Trump has denied those allegations in the past.
The more vexing problem for Trump, however, involved statements that contradicted either legal arguments being made in court currently or statements that Trump himself has said in the past.
Trump told the "Fox & Friends" hosts that his attorney, Michael Cohen, handled only a “tiny, tiny fraction” of his legal obligations — which, apparently unknown to Trump, aided prosecutors in a case against Cohen.
Trump’s admission makes it unlikely that documents seized by investigators looking into Cohen included “privileged” documents for the president. It took prosecutors little time to use Trump’s words against Cohen in that case.
SDNY tells court: "Trump, reportedly said on cable television this morning that Cohen performs 'a tiny, tiny little fraction' of his overall legal work." https://t.co/SnN3l2M0Pj— Mike Scarcella (@MikeScarcella) April 26, 2018
Trump also elaborated that Cohen did represent him “with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal.” The adult film actress alleges that she and Trump had an affair during Trump’s current marriage, and that she was paid $130,000 by Cohen to stay quiet about it. Trump previously said he was unaware about anything having to do with Daniels.
Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, called the admission a “gift from the heavens.”
It was a “hugely damaging admission by the president because, according to what he said on Air Force One a few weeks ago, he didn't know anything about the agreement,” Avenatti said.
Trump suggested he “didn't know anything about the payment,” Avenatti added. ”Michael Cohen went off and did this on a lark, and Mr. Trump knew nothing about it. We now find out that that's bogus. That was a lie on Air Force One...”
Trump’s biggest weakness seems to be his own mouth. He just can’t keep quiet, constantly needing to defend himself and his character, even on a television program that’s friendly to him. It’s bad news for Trump, but good news for investigators — and potentially great news for Americans who are hoping that Trump’s legal woes will result in impeachment or resignation from office.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Carlos Barria/Reuters