In an interview with Fox & Friends‘ Ashley Earhardt published on YouTube today, President Trump slammed the Department of Justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Mueller’s Russia investigation, while defending Paul Manafort and distancing himself from Michael Cohen.
“There’s such corruption. Before I got here, it’s from before I got here. It’s from the Obama administration. When everybody sees what’s going on in the Justice Department, I always put ‘justice’ now with quotes, it’s a very, very sad day,” said President Trump as he described his disdain for the Department of Justice, according to The Hill.
The POTUS then went on to attack Attorney General Jeff Sessions, claiming to have given him his job only because he “felt loyalty.”
“He was an original supporter,” Trump said, then criticized Sessions for recusing himself, adding that he would “stay uninvolved.” When pressed about firing Jeff Sessions, the POTUS dodged Fox & Friends Ashley Earhardt’s question, accusing the DOJ of corruption.
As The Hill noted, ever since the decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian interference, Sessions has become one of Donald Trump’s favorite targets.
President Trump also made sure to distance himself from his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, claiming that Cohen was simply one of his lawyers who “didn’t do big deals,” but the media made it seem like Trump “couldn’t live without him.”
“I would see him sometimes, but when I had deals – and big deals – I had outside lawyers, and a had a lot of inside lawyers, in addition to Michael. I always found him to be a nice guy.”
Trump then went on to say that he did not originally know about Cohen’s hush payments. They were not directed by him, and they were “not taken out of campaign finance,” Trump concluded.
The fact that Cohen has decided to cooperate with prosecutors, however, is in President Trump’s words “ought to be illegal.”
“It’s called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal.”
“I’ve seen it many times. They make up things and now they go from 10 years to they’re a national hero,” Trump said on Fox & Friends, according to The Hill.
Perhaps surprisingly, Trump defended Michael Cohen, at least to an extent, slamming the FBI for raiding his former lawyer’s office at six o’clock in the morning.
The POTUS praised Paul Manafort but refused to produce an answer when Ashley Earhardt asked him whether or not he would pardon his former campaign chairman. Instead, Trump slammed the FBI for raiding Manafort’s home.
“And how about Manafort? They raid his home, at like five in the morning, I think, on a weekend, and his wife is in bed, and they go in with guns. This isn’t Al Capone!”
Throughout the entire interview, Trump kept on repeating his signature “no collusion” mantra.
Cohen and Manafort’s legal trouble could benefit Robert Mueller, according to the New York Times. Their crimes may have had nothing to do with the Russia investigation, but they could have “significant implications” for Mueller’s investigation, the NYT concluded.
Perhaps more importantly, Manafort sentencing and Cohen’s guilty plea come ahead of November midterms. The Republican Party needs to quickly develop a strategy in order to defeat the Democrats. According to Quartz, their strategy is simple: the White House plan is to “keep putting Trump on stage.”
The President’s base, Quartz noted, does not care about Manafort, or Cohen, and Trump has become the GOP’s chief fundraiser, raising $75 million of the nearly $230 million the party has managed to raise thus far. With the spotlight on Donald Trump, the Republicans will adjust, focusing on Trump’s voter base, conveying a simple message: “Vote GOP or the Democrats impeach Trump!”
Quartz‘s predictions are in line with former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s observations. In a recent interview, as the Inquisitr reported, Bannon argued that the GOP needs to change strategy in order to beat Democrats in this fall’s midterms.
Instead of approaching the midterms in a traditional way, the Republicans should focus on turnout, on Donald Trump’s supporters in particular, according to Bannon. If Quartz‘s analysis is correct, Bannon’s strategy may have already been set in full motion.