In a Sunday tweetstorm, President Trump took his most direct attacks on the special counsel Robert Mueller yet. According to Bloomberg, the president urged Mueller to release his alleged conflicts of interest and said that the two have had a “very nasty & contentious business relationship.”
Robert Mueller was appointed the special counsel to the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Several officials in the Trump campaign have been indicted in the investigation, such as Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn.
Although the president has not been accused of colluding with the Russian government, he has been on the defensive, calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”
President Trump’s conflict of interest claims on Twitter seemingly confirms a New York Times report which said that Trump wanted to fire Mueller in June last year but backed off when one of the White House aides threatened to resign rather than follow the directive.
An NYT report published in January notes that Trump reportedly listed three possible conflicts of interest with Mueller.
Mueller, who was an acting FBI director at the time, reportedly ended his membership at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, after a dispute over membership fees. Trump was a businessman and reality TV star at the time.
The president also allegedly said Mueller has previously worked for a law firm that once represented the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The third possible conflict of interest reported by the NYT is Trump’s claim that Mueller had been interviewed about returning as the FBI director a day before his appointed as special counsel. Trump confirmed this part of the report in the following tweet.
“Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend.”
Trump in another tweet accused Mueller, who is a lifelong Republican, of only appointing “angry” Democrats who previously worked for Obama or Clinton. Trump also questions why the special counsel is not investigating the Democrats, who Trump claims colluded with the Russian government.
“Also, why is Mueller only appointing Angry Dems, some of whom have worked for Crooked Hillary, others, including himself, have worked for Obama…And why isn’t Mueller looking at all of the criminal activity & real Russian Collusion on the Democrats side-Podesta, Dossier?”
Trump has reportedly considered firing either Rosenstein, Mueller, or Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The president has criticized Sessions publicly and vented about his regret appointed him. However, the firing of any of those men will likely cause political tension with key allies.