President Donald Trump pugnaciously defended himself against the ‘phony’ Russia probe in a hyper-kinetic interview where he tried to settle so many scores that the Fox hosts tried to give him the hook.
The president returned to ‘Fox and Friends,’ a regular campaign favorite for him where he used early-morning call-in opportunities to trash rival Hillary Clinton.
On Thursday morning, Trump repeatedly went after special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and ‘phony charges,’ said he has decided not to meddle with his Justice Department – until he decides he needs to, and once again called fired FBI Director James Comey a ‘leaker and a liar.’
‘Look I’m fighting a battle against a horrible group of deep-seated people. Drain the swamp. That are coming up with all sorts of phony charges against me and they’re not bringing up real charges against the other side,’ Trump said, about 27 minutes into the interview.
Trump gave a 30 minute tirade against his enemies on Fox and Friends Thursday
Host Steve Doocy had asked Trump what grade he would give himself, after saying a year ago he deserved an A for effort and a C for ‘messaging.’ That set off Trump on the Mueller probe once again.
‘So we have a phony deal going on. And it’s a cloud over my head. And I’ve been really able to really escape that cloud because the message now everyone knows is a fix – it’s a witch hunt. And they know that and I’ve been able to message it. I would give myself an A-plus. Nobody has done what I’ve been able to do. And I did it despite the fact that I have a phony cloud over my head that doesn’t exist,’ Trump said.
The word ‘cloud’ is one Comey says Trump used with him in private meetings that Comey kept notes on, although Trump in the interview blasted those memos as full of untruths.
The rants went on for so long that near the end of the program, co-host Steve Doocy told the world’s most powerful person: ‘Mr. President, we’re running out of time.’
WALL OF SEPARATION: ‘Our Justice Department, which I try to stay away from, which at some point I won’t,’ Trump said after blasting the Russia probe
Trump also defended lawyer Michael Cohen and acknowledged he represented him in ‘this crazy Stormy Daniels deal’ with the porn star who says she slept with Trump
That are coming up with all sorts of phony charges against me and they’re not bringing up real charges against the other side,’ Trump vented in the 30-minute tirade, as he referenced special counsel Robert Mueller’s (above) probe
Trump also gave veiled threats to his own Justice Department – although he indicated he has chosen a hands-off approach, for now.
‘Our Justice Department, which I try to stay away from, which at some point I won’t,’ Trump said, as he complained about the Russia probe, which began after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself and his deputy Rod Rosenstein named Mueller special counsel.
Earlier he said: ‘I’m very disappointed in my Justice Department.’
‘I have decided that I won’t be involved. I may change my mind at some point. Because what’s going on is a disgrace,’ Trump explained.
Trump went on for so long that near the end of the program, co-host Steve Doocy told the world’s most powerful person: ‘Mr. President, we’re running out of time’
Trump returned to a show that was a frequent call-in platform during his campaign
‘The only collusion is the collusion with the Democrats and the Russians,’ Trump said. Then he complained that the Demoratic National Committee ‘wouldn’t even give their server’ to the FBI after they were the victim of a hack during the campaign.
He compared this treatment to the raid on former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, who is charged with money laundering and other crimes, and his personal attorney Michael Cohen, who is under criminal investigation and pleaded the fifth in a lawsuit by porn star Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump.
‘What kind of an FBI? They break down doors for Paul Manafort. Early in the morning. His wife is in bed. Like at 5 or 6 in the morning. And they undo the lock for Michael Cohen early in the morning. And yet they walk into the DNC and they won’t give em the server,’ Trump vented.
Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort
‘That’s not the FBI. That’s a fix.’
‘If I ever called for a rally in Washington D.C., we’d have millions of people coming into Washington ’cause they love what’s happening,’ Trump said.
Trump said the top people in the FBI under Comey were ‘crooked.’
‘You look at the corruption at the top of the FBI, it’s a disgrace,’ he said.
He also defended lawyer Michael Cohen and acknowledged he represented him in ‘this crazy Stormy Daniels deal’ with the porn star who says she slept with Trump.
‘He did absolutely nothing wrong. There were no campaign funds going into this which would’ve been a problem,’ he said, in reference to the $130,000 payment to Daniels weeks before the election which Cohen says he made from his own funds.
By 8:30 am, as Trump was saying there ‘is no collusion with me and Russia and everyone knows it,’ Kilmeade finally ended the interview.
‘We’d talk to you all day but it looks like you have a million things to do,’ Kilmeade told him.