Trump, with help from Hannity, ramps up attack on Mueller investigation

Trump is determined to discredit McCabe and Comey. Here's why.

CREDIT: Screenshot/Fox News
CREDIT: Screenshot/Fox News

President Trump started his Monday by promoting Sean Hannity’s interview on his favorite show, Fox & Friends — and then used it to attack special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his campaign.

Hannity’s interview came on the heels of a weekend in which one of the key witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, was abruptly fired on Friday night. Though Attorney General Jeff Sessions justified the firing by accusing McCabe of “lacking candor” during sworn testimony, Trump’s personal attorney, John Dowd, released a statement on Saturday morning in which he said he “prayed” McCabe’s termination would inspire deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to “bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey.”

Dowd later said he was speaking in his personal capacity, and on Sunday night, White House lawyer Ty Cobb released a statement claiming that Trump “is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.” But Trump’s promotion of the Hannity interview suggests that, whether or not he is imminently planning on firing Mueller, he is doing everything possible to undermine the investigation.


On Monday morning, Trump asked his nearly 50 million Twitter followers to tune in to Fox & Friends for Hannity’s interview.

During the interview, Hannity called for Hillary Clinton, James Comey, and McCabe to face criminal prosecution.

“If I had to expect, you’re going to see criminal charges against Andrew McCabe, and I would also argue that it’s going to go a lot deeper,” Hannity said. “The only way I can characterize this — it is the biggest abuse of power in the history of this country. For James Comey, when you have so many crimes that Hillary committed… if you did any of it, you would be arrested.”

Comey and McCabe are key witnesses in Mueller’s investigation, particularly on the issue of obstruction. One of the key questions being explored by Mueller is whether or not Trump’s firing of Comey constituted obstruction of justice. This hinges, to a substantial degree, on Comey’s accounts of his conversations with Trump. McCabe reportedly also kept memos about what Comey told him about those conversations. By smearing them as dishonest leakers, Trump is trying to protect himself.

Trump spent the weekend attacking Comey, McCabe, and Mueller on Twitter.

Toward the end of Monday’s interview, Hannity — citing Cobb’s statement — said “there is not going to be any firing of Mueller.” But minutes after it ended, Trump followed up with another tweet in which he characterized the Mueller investigation as “A total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!”

One reason Cobb and others are trying to tamp down fears that Trump will fire Mueller is to prevent Congress from taking any action to protect the special counsel. So far, it’s working.