During a lengthy interview on Fox & Friends on Thursday morning, President Trump hinted he might make serious moves to end the FBI investigation into his own campaign after next month’s midterm elections.
Asked about a Washington Post report that he’s in active talks to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump said, “I’m not doing anything — I want to get the elections over with, we’ll see what happens. I’m very disappointed that we go through this witch hunt, this ridiculous witch hunt… there’s no collusion.”
“There is no collusion. There’s no collusion,” Trump added, before pushing an absurd conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia to defeat herself. “There is collusion with Hillary Clinton and the Russians, but there’s no collusion with the Republicans, and there’s certainly no collusion with Donald Trump. And everyone knows it, and they ought to get it over with and save a lot of money, and a lot of time.”
Trump has repeatedly expressed frustration with Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation. Sessions’ recusal came on the heels of revelations that he made false statements during his confirmation hearing about his own communications with Russians during the 2016 campaign, when he was a prominent Trump surrogate. A few months after Sessions stepped aside, Trump fired the official who was at the time overseeing the investigation into the Trump campaign — then-FBI director James Comey. Days after Comey’s firing, Trump infamously cited the Russia investigation as the main reason he decided to oust him.
Following Comey’s firing, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russia, and Trump personally for potential obstruction of justice.
Despite Mueller’s ongoing investigation, Trump has repeatedly tweeted out evidence that he continues to obstruct justice.
In August, for instance, while news swirled that Mueller was examining Trump’s tweets for evidence of obstruction, the president posted a string of tweets approvingly quoting a right-wing commentator who wrote that the firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok “is as much about the Mueller investigation as anything else.” Trump posted another tweet just over an hour later criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not stopping the Mueller investigation before it began.
Now, Trump is admitting that he’s considering firing Sessions after the upcoming elections, and wants to do so mainly because of his frustration with the ongoing FBI investigation examining his campaign and his own personal conduct — an investigation he’d like to end as soon as possible.
Trump’s comments on Thursday echoed what he said during his last live Fox & Friends interview in April, when hosts abruptly brought the segment to a close as Trump yelled about his intention to meddle in the Justice Department.
“Our Justice Department, which I try and stay away from, but at some point I won’t,” Trump said, striking an authoritarian tone as Steve Doocy let out an uncomfortable groan, “should be looking at that kind of stuff, not the nonsense of collusion with Russia.” (The “stuff” Trump referenced is alleged anti-Trump bias in the FBI.)
As soon as Trump stopped talking, Brian Kilmeade brought the interview to a close, informing the president that he had to get going because he had a busy day ahead of him.
Similarly, throughout Thursday’s interview, hosts repeatedly reminded Trump that he must have more important things to do than talk to them.
I will always find it amazing that the hosts of @foxandfriends usually initiate ending the interview with President Trump by telling him that they are sure he is short on time.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 11, 2018
“Go run the country,” Doocy told Trump as they wrapped things up on Thursday.