‘Even If There Was Collusion With Russia, It’s Not a Crime’, Trumps Says
Speaking to The New York Times Thursday, President Donald Trump shocked reporters when he said that “even if my campaign colluded with Russia it’s not a crime.”
“There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime,” Trump said during an interview with The Times. “But there’s no collusion,” he added.
Trump praised lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has argued that the president’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey was not obstruction of justice because Trump has the right to fire the head of the bureau.
“I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No. 1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if it was a crime, there was no collusion,” Trump told The Times. “And he said that very strongly. He said there was no collusion. And he has studied this thing very closely. I’ve seen him a number of times.”
Trump also blasted special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, saying it “makes the country look very bad.”
“It puts the country in a very bad position,” Trump said. “So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”
It’s unclear if Trump was close to admitting collusion with the Kremlin prior to a possible bombshell from special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller has the authority to investigate any matters that come up in the course of investigating possible election interference by Russia in coordination with the Trump campaign, including possible obstruction of justice, which would be a crime.