Trump Has Major Slip Up, Blurts Out That He Installed His New Attorney General Over Russia Probe
Wednesday, we explored the career timeline of Matthew Whitaker, the man whom Donald Trump, American president, appointed acting attorney general after firing Jeff Sessions the day after the midterms.
After firing Jeff Sessions, President Donald Trump passed over multiple Senate-confirmed officials in the actual line of succession to pick Matthew Whitaker as his acting Attorney General. This was about as blatant a move to obstruct the investigation as the president could have made. Even some conservative legal commentators suggested his appointment was unconstitutional, and the state of Maryland is suing to that effect.
Whitaker is an obvious Trump loyalist and longtime Republican operative who time after time attacked the special counsel’s investigation, including by promoting a story suggesting Robert Mueller’s team was a “lynch mob.”
Whitaker has been described by Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly as the White House’s “eyes and ears” in the Justice Department—an assault on the department’s independence and the rule of law. And even well before all this, Whitaker allegedly politicized a federal investigation as a U.S. attorney in Iowa, participated in scams and grifts in his business dealings, and once flexed his background in federal law enforcement to run protection for a company—of which he was on the board—that the Federal Trade Commission fined $26 million and shuttered as a criminal enterprise.
Still, no matter how clear something is, it helps to hear it from the horse’s mouth. The President of the United States, who once said on national television he was considering “the Russia thing” when he fired FBI Director James Comey, was happy to oblige in a typically freewheeling interview with The Daily Caller. As first flagged by journalist Brian Beutler, Trump seized on a softball question to spill the beans on Whitaker’s appointment.
THE DAILY CALLER: Sure. Could you tell us where your thinking is currently on the attorney general position? I know you’re happy with Matthew Whitaker, do you have any names? Chris Christie —
TRUMPS: Matthew Whitaker is a very respected man. He’s — and he’s, very importantly, he’s respected within DOJ. I heard he got a very good decision, I haven’t seen it. Kellyanne, did I hear that?
WHITE HOUSE ADVISER KELLYANNE CONWAY: 20 pages.
TRUMP: A 20 page?
THE DAILY CALLER: It just came out right before this, sir.
TRUMP: Well, I heard it was a very strong opinion. Uh, which is good. But [Whitaker] is just somebody who’s very respected. I knew him only as he pertained, you know, as he was with Jeff Sessions. And, um, you know, look, as far as I’m concerned this is an investigation that should have never been brought. It should have never been had.
It’s something that should have never been brought. It’s an illegal investigation. And you know, it’s very interesting because when you talk about not Senate confirmed, well, Mueller’s not Senate confirmed.
THE DAILY CALLER: Right.
You read that right. The president just admitted, unprompted, that he fired the head of the Justice Department and installed a loyalist over a Justice Department investigation into him and his associates.
This is obstruction of justice. This is corrupt. This is an untenable assault on the rule of law in a democratic republic. And the Republican majorities in Congress—to say nothing of his base—will happily let him get away with it.