Donald Trump has decried the latest set of developments in the investigation against his administration’s possible collusion with Russian agents as a witch hunt.
Over the course of Thursday morning, the president posted a series of Tweets touching on scandal, corruption, and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.
This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017
The commander-in-chief, writing over his favorite social media platform, decried the appointment of a special counsel to head the investigation which had formerly been spearheaded by Comey. He questioned why Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had been able to serve their terms without ever having to confront the questions posed by a special counsel, still denying the allegations of Russian tampering which have cast a shadow over the 2016 election.
Robert Mueller, who, like James Comey, once served as Director of the FBI, was appointed as a special counsel yesterday to investigate any possible links between the Trump campaign and administration and Russian officials. As special counsel, Mueller will essentially be fulfilling a sort of prosecutorial role, reviewing classified and declassified documents, seeking interviews with persons of interest, and assisting in making a decision whether there is enough evidence to pursue judicial prosecution.
Mueller’s appointment has been lauded by Congress as a safe and non-partisan pick. The former FBI chief has a reputation for being straightforward and unbending in the face of political pressure. Analysts from CNN went so far as to suggest that Mueller is, at the very least, less likely to be pushed around by Washington than Comey.
Despite having promised to “lengthen” the Russia investigation if necessary, Donald Trump blasted the appointment of a special counsel both on Twitter and at a media luncheon.
“I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we’re a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country,” said the President, speaking to a roomful of television anchors.
“And we have very important things to be doing right now, whether it’s trade deals, whether it’s military, whether it’s stopping nuclear – all of the things that we discussed today. And I think this shows a very divided country,” he continued, speaking in his characteristically choppy style of speech.
The President, who made headlines throughout the 2010s by speculating his predecessor was born in Kenya, also raised the possibility that the continued investigation was being used as political leverage by Democrats.
“It also happens to be a pure exercise for the Democrats having lost an election that they should have won easily because of the Electoral College being slanted so much in their way,” Trump said. “That’s all this is. I think it shows division, and it shows that we’re not together as a country. And I think it’s a very, very negative thing. And hopefully, this can go quickly, because we have to show unity if we’re going to do great things with respect to the rest of the world.”
The media-savvy president made his comments a day after bemoaning his treatment in a Coast Guard commencement address, telling the graduates that “No politician in history […] has been treated worse or more unfairly” than himself.