WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump held nothing back Monday in slamming the raid on his personal attorney’s office and the investigation into Russian election meddling.
The setting: The White House Cabinet Room. Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence beside him, was meeting with the nation’s top military and intelligence officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and new national security adviser John Bolton, to discuss the U.S. response to a deadly chemical weapons attack near Damascus, Syria.
But first, as soon as reporters entered the room, Trump turned to the raid and special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
A sampling of quotes:
“I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, a good man, and it’s a disgraceful situation.” — Trump, as soon as reporters entered the room.
“Here we are talking about Syria, we’re talking about a lot of serious things with the greatest fighting force ever, and I have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now, and actually much more than that. You could say it was right after I won the nomination it started. And it’s a disgrace. It’s frankly a real disgrace. It’s an attack on our country in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for. … That is really now in a whole new level of unfairness.”
“We’ll see what happens.” Trump — asked why he doesn’t fire Mueller.
“The attorney general made a terrible mistake when he did this and when he recused himself or he certainly should have let us know if he was going to recuse himself and we would have put a different attorney general in. So he made what I consider to be a very terrible mistake for the country. But you’ll figure that out.” — Trump on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the Russia investigation.
“The stock market dropped a lot today as soon as they heard the noise you know of this nonsense that was going on. It dropped a lot. It was up — it was way up. It dropped quite a bit at the end.” — Trump blaming the raid for the stock market decline Monday.
“The other side is where there are crimes and those crimes are obvious — lies under oath all over the place, emails that are knocked out, that are acid washed and deleted, 33,000 emails were deleted after getting a subpoena from Congress. And nobody bothers looking at that.” — Trump, referring to questions about his 2016 presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“No.” — Trump, asked whether he has any concerns about what the FBI might find.
“Interesting day. He picked today as his first day. So generals, I think he picked the right day.” — Trump on Bolton’s first day of work on Monday.