Trump goes off script at opioid summit: ‘I know about rigging the system because I had the system rigged on me’

President Donald Trump alleged on Wednesday that the U.S. justice system had been “rigged” against him.

While speaking at an event on opioid abuse, the president argued that pharmaceutical companies are giving European countries better prices than they give U.S. customers.

Trump vowed to stop the practice and called his promise “a big deal.”

“At long last we’re stopping drug companies in foreign countries from rigging the system,” Trump said before straying from his prepared remarks.

“I know all about the rigging of the system because I had the system rigged on me,” the president said, likely referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“I think you know what I’m talking about,” Trump added. “Unfortunately, that will be your soundbite tonight but that’s okay. The system was rigged!”

[Raw Story]

Trump: “I didn’t call Bob Costa!!! I called Bob Costa!!!”

President Donald Trump responded to a couple of throwaway lines by MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson with a furious denial that accidentally confirmed the comment he was initially pushing back against.

The president again spent the morning Wednesday tweeting in apparent response to reports he was watching on TV, as he’s done all week, and seemed to have been angered by remarks Jackson made in passing during a discussion of a Washington Post report.

“The president called up the friend of our show Bob Costa overnight on an unrelated topic,” Jackson said, “and Bob smartly asked him about all of these subpoenas that House Democrats are issuing against the Trump administration, and the president made the argument to the Post, ‘Hey, I cooperated plenty with Robert Mueller, what do I have to cooperate with Congress for?”

Jackson had introduced the segment by pointing out that the president had called Costa, the Post reporter, and Trump responded about five minutes later with an angry denial that also confirmed the broadcaster’s account about who had initiated the call.

[Raw Story]

Trump says he would challenge impeachment in Supreme Court

President Trump on Wednesday said that he would attempt to challenge impeachment in the Supreme Court if Democrats carried out such proceedings, though it’s unclear the high court would hear such a case.

“The Mueller Report, despite being written by Angry Democrats and Trump Haters, and with unlimited money behind it ($35,000,000), didn’t lay a glove on me. I DID NOTHING WRONG,” Trump tweeted.

“If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court. Not only are there no ‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ there are no Crimes by me at all,” he continued.

The president accused Democrats, Hillary Clinton and “dirty cops” of being guilty of criminal activity.

“We waited for Mueller and WON, so now the Dems look to Congress as last hope!” Trump concluded.

The House holds the power to carry out impeachment proceedings, while the Senate is responsible for whether to convict the individual in question. The chief justice of the Supreme Court, currently John Roberts, would preside over the Senate trial.

There is little precedent to support the idea of the Supreme Court weighing in on the merits of impeachment, as a sitting president has not previously challenged impeachment proceedings in the high court.

The Supreme Court ruled in the 1993 case of federal Judge Walter Nixon that whether the Senate properly conducted an impeachment trial was a political question, and therefore nonjusticiable.

Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, rejected the possibility of Trump taking an impeachment to the Supreme Court.

“Not even a SCOTUS filled with Trump appointees would get in the way of the House or Senate, where [Chief Justice] Roberts would preside over Trump’s Impeachment Trial,” tweeted Tribe, an outspoken critic of the president.

The president has been fixated in recent days on pushing back against the specter of impeachment proceedings, while maintaining that he is “not even a little bit” concerned about the possibility of removal from office.

Democratic leaders have largely said they don’t yet support starting the impeachment process, but remained open to the possibility in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s full report.

In the partly redacted document, investigators did not establish that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election, but did not exonerate Trump on the question of obstruction of justice. 

Investigators instead detailed 10 episodes they reviewed for potential obstruction by the president, with Mueller saying that Congress has the authority to conduct potential obstruction probes.

Talk of whether to carry out impeachment hearings has split Democrats, and discussions have intensified in the aftermath of Mueller’s report.

“I do believe that impeachment is one of the most divisive forces, paths that we could go down to in our country,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday. “But if the facts, the path of fact-finding takes us there, we have no choice. But we’re not there yet.”

House Democrats have launched a flurry of investigations into the president, seeking to review his finances, potential abuse of power and corruption within the administration.Trump later asserted in a pair of tweets that he had been cooperative with the Mueller investigation, and suggested Congress should focus on legislation instead of seeking additional information from the White House as part of its own probes. “Millions of pages of documents were given to the Mueller Angry Dems, plus I allowed everyone to testify, including W.H. counsel. I didn’t have to do this, but now they want more,” Trump tweeted. “Congress has no time to legislate, they only want to continue the Witch Hunt, which I have already won. They should start looking at The Criminals who are already very well known to all. This was a Rigged System – WE WILL DRAIN THE SWAMP!”

[The Hill]

Trump questions impeachment talk after stock market hits record high

President Trump on Tuesday lamented that some Democrats are discussing the prospect of impeachment proceedings on the same day that the stock market closed at record highs, suggesting he should be given more credit.

“You mean the Stock Market hit an all-time record high today and they’re actually talking impeachment!?” Trump tweeted. “Will I ever be given credit for anything by the Fake News Media or Radical Liberal Dems? NO COLLUSION!”

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite closed at record highs on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 26,656.39, 1.1 percent short of an all-time high.

Trump has regularly taken credit for good news on the stock market, and he has previously questioned how lawmakers could move to impeach “somebody who’s done a great job.”

A pair of high-profile Democrats were asked at the Time 100 Summit on Tuesday about where they stand on launching impeachment proceedings, a topic that has dominated discussions since special counsel Robert Mueller‘s report was released last week.

In the partly redacted document, investigators did not establish that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election, but did not exonerated Trump on the question of obstruction of justice. Investigators instead detailed 10 episodes they reviewed for potential obstruction by the president, with Mueller saying that Congress has authority to conduct potential obstruction probes.

“I do believe that impeachment is one of the most divisive forces, paths that we could go down to in our country,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday. “But if the facts, the path of fact-finding takes us there, we have no choice. But we’re not there yet.”

Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election, said impeachment proceedings should “be something undertaken in a really serious, diligent way, based on evidence.”

She suggested that Trump would have been indicted for obstruction of justice as a result of Mueller’s probe if he weren’t the sitting president.

J.W. Verret, who served as one of the first 16 members of then-candidate Trump’s pre-transition team, said Tuesday that he believes Mueller’s report amounted to “a referral to Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.”

As Democratic leaders and media pundits weigh the merits of impeachment proceedings, Trump has been openly defiant about the prospect.

He has tweeted about the possibility multiple times in recent days, asserting Monday that he did not commit actions that reach the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that could lead to impeachment.

Trump told reporters at Monday’s White House Easter Egg Roll that he was “not even a little bit” worried about impeachment. 

[The Hill]

JARED KUSHNER DOWNPLAYS RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE AS HE BLASTS INVESTIGATIONS

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner downplayed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election Tuesday, suggesting it amounted to “a couple of Facebook ads.”

“When you look at what Russia did, buying some Facebook ads to try to sow dissent, it’s a terrible thing,” Kushner said at the TIME 100 Summit in New York. “But I think the investigations and all the speculation that’s happened for the last two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads.”

Kushner said that he spent about $160,000 on Facebook every three hours during the campaign, “so if you look at the magnitude of what they did and what they accomplished, I think the ensuing investigations have been way more harmful to our country.”

Russian agents with the intent of sowing discord among Americans spread fiery posts that reached 126 million Facebook users, according to copies of prepared remarks from the social media company obtained by The New York Times in late 2017.

The president’s son-in-law was responding to Time senior White House correspondent Brian Bennett’s questions about the Russia investigation following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report last week.

“When the whole notion of the Russian collusion narrative came up, I was the first person to say I’m happy to participate with any investigations,” Kushner said. “I thought the whole thing was kind of nonsense to be honest with you.

Kushner said the Trump campaign was very “untraditional” and “entrepreneurial,” with few figures from the Washington establishment initially willing to help. “We had a lot of outsiders coming in,” he said.

He also emphasized that he conducted three House interviews and about nine hours with Mueller.

“I think that everything that I’ve said has been proven to be true and has been very thoroughly investigated,” he said.

Much of the focus on Kushner’s alleged role in Russia’s efforts has centered on his presence at a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting also involving Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a Kremlin-linked lawyer. Speaking Thursday, Kushner brushed off the meeting saying he would not have given it a second thought, “but now the media spends so much time focusing on it that quite frankly the whole thing is just a big distraction for our country.”

Trump applauded Kushner on Twitter, calling it a “great interview” and saying, “Nice to have extraordinarily smart people serving our Country!”

[Newsweek]

Reality

The Mueller Report found, “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.”

Trump unloads on media in post-Mueller tweets

President Trump unloaded on the news media in a series of tweets Tuesday morning, claiming he faces an unprecedented level of criticism in The New York Times, as well as on CNN and MSNBC.

Trump wrote that the coverage of his presidency shows the “totally insane” media is conspiring with “the Radical Left Democrats” to hurt his chances of reelection.

“In the ‘old days’ if you were President and you had a good economy, you were basically immune from criticism,” Trump wrote. “Remember, ‘It’s the economy stupid.’ Today I have, as President, perhaps the greatest economy in history…and to the Mainstream Media, it means NOTHING. But it will!”

The president’s outburst came as he has groused for days about the coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation, which did not charge Trump with crimes but painted an unflattering picture of the inner workings of the White House and detailed Moscow’s efforts to help Trump’s 2016 campaign.  

The contents of the full report have muddled Trump’s claim that it was a “complete and total exoneration” and breathed new life into the debate over whether congressional Democrats should impeach him.

Tuesday morning’s tweets did not directly reference the Mueller report, but Trump’s sense of grievance against the media over its coverage ran through them as a common thread.

[The Hill]

Trump retweets hit list suggesting he’s going after Obama, Biden, Brennan, Clapper the Democratic Party and more

On Monday, President Donald Trump retweeted a ‘hit list’ from Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, a conservative self-styled watchdog group.

Fitton tweeted a list out with Democrats name who believed have abused President Donald Trump.

People on the list included Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton.

[Raw Story]

‘So True’: Trump Tweets Out Seven Fox News Segments in One Day in Wake of Mueller Report

Today President Donald Trump has been sharing a number of clips from Fox News and Fox Business segments on the Mueller report.

The main Fox News account may have stopped tweeting since November as of now, but the president’s Twitter feed today has featured plenty of Fox content.

Trump shared clips of Mark LevinSteve HiltonByron YorkLou Dobbs, and Gregg Jarrett talking about the Mueller report and the fallout from the past few days:

[Mediaite]

Trump claims Mueller didn’t speak to those ‘closest’ to him


President Trump
 on Monday questioned why Robert Mueller and his team did not speak with “the people who were closest” to him and his campaign, even though Mueller interviewed several former aides and the president did not agree to sit with the special counsel.

“Isn’t it amazing that the people who were closest to me, by far, and knew the Campaign better than anyone, were never even called to testify before Mueller,” Trump tweeted. “The reason is that the 18 Angry Democrats knew they would all say ‘NO COLLUSION’ and only very good things!”The special counsel spoke to several White House staffers, including a number of people who worked on the 2016 campaign, as part of his nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. A redacted version of Mueller’s final report was released last week.

In it, the special counsel said the probe did not establish that Trump colluded with the Russian government. Mueller neither exonerated nor implicated Trump on obstruction of justice, but detailed 10 episodes that investigators reviewed for the charge.

Among those who cooperated with the special counsel, according to the report, were White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former White House counsel Don McGahn, all of whom worked on the campaign in some capacity. Campaign aides Hope HicksCorey Lewandowski and Steve Bannon also cooperated.

Tweets from the president since the report’s release suggest he is not happy with news coverage, some of it fueled by notes taken by McGahn and others who provided their paperwork to Mueller’s team.

Trump pushed back earlier Monday against the idea that his aides routinely went against his directives, as laid out in multiple instances in the Mueller report, telling reporters that “nobody disobeys my orders.” 

Trump added that he was “not even a little bit” worried about the specter of impeachment.

Trump did not sit for an in-person interview with Mueller and instead provided written answers to the special counsel’s questions.

The president wrote on more than 30 occasions that he did not recall, remember or have independent memories of key events throughout the Russia investigation, leading Mueller’s team to deem his written responses to questions “inadequate.”

Mueller said he considered issuing a subpoena for Trump to sit for an interview, but ultimately decided against it because it would have resulted in a drawn out legal fight.

Trump and his allies declared victory in the wake of Mueller’s report becoming public, touting that it cleared the president of wrongdoing. However, the president has remained fixated on the special counsel in recent days, attacking his team’s credibility and jabbing at the former aides who provided notes to investigators.

[The Hill]

Trump: ‘Nobody disobeys my orders’

President Trump on Monday said “nobody disobeys” his orders after special counsel Robert Mueller wrote in his report that Trump attempted to influence the Russia investigation but was unsuccessful because his aides didn’t follow his demands.

“Nobody disobeys my orders,” Trump told reporters outside of the White House at Monday’s Easter Egg Roll.

A redacted version Mueller’s report, which was released Thursday, detailed several cases in which Trump potentially obstructed justice.

But Mueller wrote that Trump’s efforts “were mostly unsuccessful” in influencing the probe because those around him “declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”

“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests,” the report reads.

In one instance, Trump in 2017 ordered then-White House counsel Don McGahn to remove Mueller. McGahn refused, according to the report, which states that he decided “that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre.” 

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