Speaking to reporters at the White House after wishing U.S. troops overseas a merry Christmas, President Donald Trump commented on a number of topics, including the ongoing partial government shutdown, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's alleged involvement in influencing the results of the 2016 presidential election, his previous dismissal of former FBI director James Comey, and the Federal Reserve's recent move to increase interest rates.
As recapped by USA Today, Trump didn't shy away from talking about pressing political issues as he spoke with reporters on Christmas Day, stressing that he believes the people of America "want border security," hence the need for "a wall, a fence, [or] whatever they want to call it" across the U.S.-Mexico border despite how Democrat lawmakers have refused to fund the project.
With Trump fielding more questions from reporters, the president continued attacking the Federal Reserve in the aftermath of Monday's turbulent trading day, which, per CNBC, saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop 653 points and the S&P 500 enter what is commonly referred to as a "bear market."
According to Bloomberg, Trump criticized the Fed for "raising interest rates too fast," but added that he still has confidence in the central bank, which he believes might have chosen to raise rates "because they think the economy is so good."
In addition, Trump chimed in about the ongoing special counsel investigation into accusations of collusion between his campaign team and Russian officials in the lead-up to the 2016 election, as he told reporters the probe has yet to provide evidence of such, and that the only collusion that has taken place has "been by the Democrats." The president then added that there is no truth to reports claiming his decision to fire James Comey as FBI director was an attempt on his part to block the Russia investigation."Everybody hated Comey, they thought he did a horrible job," Trump said, as quoted by Metro UK.
"The Democrats hated him, they were calling for his resignation, they were calling for his firing.. including [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer, including [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi. Once I fired him, everybody said, 'Oh, why did you fire him, why did you fire him?'"After lamenting that the current issues he is dealing with represent a "disgrace" to the United States, Trump told reporters that he "[wishes] everybody a very merry Christmas."
Prior to the question-and-answer session with reporters, the president spoke to U.S. soldiers from all five branches stationed in Alaska, Bahrain, Guam, and Qatar and thanked the troops for their continued "service to our nation." As further noted by USA Today, this video conference call also came on the heels of Trump's controversial decision last week to withdraw about 2,000 troops from Syria.