Connect with us


Newly released documents shed light on Mueller-Trump meeting



Former special counsel Robert Mueller had taken himself out of the running to be FBI director by the time he met with President Donald Trump about the job, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told federal investigators.

Notes from Rosenstein’s May 23, 2017 interview were made public on Monday as the result of a court ruling in BuzzFeed News’ Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department.

The document sheds new light on the circumstances of Trump’s May 16, 2017 meeting with Mueller in the Oval Office. Trump has claimed that Mueller applied for the suddenly vacant job of FBI director in that meeting and turned him down. The next day, Mueller was named special counsel investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In the interview, according to the notes published by BuzzFeed News, Rosenstein described feeling “angry, ashamed, horrified and embarrassed” at how the abrupt firing of then-FBI director James Comey on May 9, 2017 was handled. “It was also humiliating for Comey,” his interviewers quoted Rosenstein as saying.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Rosenstein said he spoke to Mueller, a former FBI director, about becoming special counsel the next day.

He had a separate conversation with Mueller and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions on May 13 to see if Mueller would be interested in returning to his old job as director, the notes say.

“Mueller informed them he did not want to be interviewed for FBI director position,” but told them his views about “what should be done with FBI,” the document says. “Sessions thought Mueller’s comments were ‘brilliant,'” Rosenstein is quoted as saying.

“Nevertheless, Mueller was placed on the White House’s list of potential candidates for FBI director,” the notes say. “Mueller was interviewed for the position of FBI director, but later decided to withdraw from consideration,” the notes say.

He was officially named special counsel on May 17.

Trump, who often decried Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” has used the Oval Office meeting to suggest that Mueller had a conflict of interest — and that he was lying about their conversation.

“It has been reported that Robert Mueller is saying that he did not apply and interview for the job of FBI Director (and get turned down) the day before he was wrongfully appointed Special Counsel,” Trump tweeted in July ahead of Mueller’s testimony before Congress. “Hope he doesn’t say that under oath in that we have numerous witnesses to the interview, including the Vice President of the United States!”

Mueller testified under oath that it was not a job interview. “I interviewed with the president, it was about the job, but it was not about me applying for the job,” he added.

Source link


GOP governor says wearing masks is public health issue



WASHINGTON — Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday dismissed the politicization of wearing masks in public to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, imploring Americans during the Memorial Day Weekend to understand “we are truly all in this together.”

With many states like Ohio beginning to relax stay-at-home restrictions, DeWine underscored the importance of following studies that show masks are beneficial to limiting the spread of the virus in an exclusive interview with “Meet the Press.”

“This is not about politics. This is not about whether you are liberal or conservative, left or right, Republican or Democrat,” DeWine said.

“It’s been very clear what the studies have shown, you wear the mask not to protect yourself so much as to protect others. This is one time where we are truly all in this together. What we do directly impacts others.”

DeWine made the comments in response to an emotional plea from North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who last week denounced the idea that mask-wearing should be a partisan issue.

Public health experts continue to say mask usage can help stunt the spread of the virus and recommend that people wear masks where social distancing is not feasible. But the White House has sent mixed signals on the practice.

President Trump has repeatedly bucked the practice of wearing a mask in public, reportedly telling advisers he thought doing so would send the wrong message and distract from the push to reopen the economy.

He did not wear one during a visit to an Arizona mask production facility earlier this month. And while he did wear one for part of his trip to a Ford manufacturing plant in Michigan last week, he took it off before speaking to reporters and said “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”

Vice President Pence did not wear a mask while touring the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota last month, but donned one during another tour days later in Indiana after criticism.

Robert O’Brien, Trump’s national security adviser, told “Meet the Press” Sunday that he and many other members of White House staff wear masks during work and hope that will set an “example” for Americans looking to return to the office. And he defended the president’s conduct by arguing that if proper social-distancing measures are taken, Trump doesn’t always need to wear a mask.

“I think Gov. DeWine was spot on when he talked about office-workers wearing the masks, and mask usage is going to help us get this economy reopened,” he said.

“And we do need to get the country reopened because we can’t get left behind by China or others with respect to our economy.”

The question of how to safely reopen the American economy is weighing heavy this Memorial Day weekend, as every state across the country is beginning to move toward relaxing coronavirus-related restrictions.

There have been more than 1.6 million coronavirus cases in America including more than 97,700 deaths as of Sunday morning, according to NBC News’ count. And 38 million Americans have filed unemployment claims since March 14.

As governors like DeWine are trying to balance the public health risks of removing restrictions with the economic risks of keeping most of America shut in their homes, the Ohio governor said that he’s confident “we can do two things at once.”

“We want to continue to up that throughout the state because it is really what we need as we open up the economy. This is a risk, but it’s also a risk if we don’t open up the economy, all the downsides of not opening up the economy,” he said.

Source link

Continue Reading


Trump claims Jeff Sessions not ‘mentally qualified’ to be AG as feud escalates



President Donald Trump on Sunday ramped up his ongoing feud with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions Sunday, claiming Sessions wasn’t “mentally qualified” for the job.

During an interview on “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson,” Trump called Sessions, who he handpicked for the 2017 appointment, a “disaster” who was never qualified for the role of attorney general.

“He’s not mentally qualified to be Attorney General,” Trump said. “He was the biggest problem. I mean, look Jeff Sessions put people in place that were a disaster.”

The president’s comments come a day after he formally endorsed Sessions’ opponent in the Alabama Senate race, college football coach Tommy Tuberville. Trump has long assailed the former attorney general for recusing himself from the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election.

Sessions responded to Trump’s comments Saturday on Twitter, defending his recusal and telling the president he was “damn fortunate” for it.

“It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration,” Sessions tweeted. “Your personal feelings don’t dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do.”

Sessions and Tuberville finished neck-and-neck in March in a Republican primary, setting up for a July 14 runoff. The runoff winner will face off in November against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, who won Sessions’ former seat in a 2017 special election.

Trump’s criticism of his former appointee is just the latest in a yearslong battle with Sessions. In November 2018, Trump ousted Sessions as attorney general and replaced him temporarily with Matt Whitaker.

Trump said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last year that Sessions would be his only “do-over” as president, claiming that the former Alabama senator should have never been in the role.

Source link

Continue Reading


Civil Service tweet lashes out at 'truth twisters' before being deleted – probe launched



THE UK Government has launched an investigation after a tweet from the Civil Service lashed out at “truth twisters’ – minutes after Boris Johnson concluded the daily briefing from Downing Street.

Source link

Continue Reading