White House aides are expressing regret that Donald Trump didn’t clearly deny that he had ever been a Russian agent when he called into Fox News this weekend to speak to Jeanine Pirro. Instead, the president spent most of the conversation with Pirro talking about how offended he is that anyone would even ask such a question.
The Huffington Post spoke to three White House aides on the condition of anonymity because they don’t have permission to share private conversations. The aides explained that it was Trump’s decision to call into Fox News to expressly speak to Pirro about what he considered offensive reports from the New York Times and the Washington Post that suggest that the president is under investigation for wittingly or unwittingly working with the Kremlin.
Aides say they had short notice that Trump intended to make the call to push back against the Russia accusations and other headlines that were irking him. But they say what they really didn’t expect was the direct question from Pirro in which she asked him point blank whether he is currently or has ever worked for Russia.
“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked. I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written, and if you read the article you’ll see that they found absolutely nothing.”
What part of ‘no’ was hard to say? It’s not like he avoids lying. https://t.co/G3yU1g2VAK
— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) January 14, 2019
But all three aides said that they were distressed that Donald Trump did not simply answer no to the question posed by Pirro. Instead, he gave his usual statement, saying that he’s been tougher on Russian than anyone.
“If you ask the folks in Russia, I’ve been tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other… probably any other president, period, but certainly the last three or four presidents.”
Also in his chat with Pirro, Trump said he didn’t understand why the papers were making such a “big deal” over the secrecy of his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Hamburg, Germany, where even notes taken by the interpreter were disposed of.
“Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is up for grabs.”
Trump also talked about the fact that he has been staying put in the White House waiting for Democrats to stop by and negotiate. He boasted to Pirro that he had essentially been home alone in the White House throughout the shutdown, according to the Inquisitr, and that he “worked hard” through the holiday break.
Trump continues to restate that he has not been to his Palm Beach, Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, in a month and that he missed his planned three-week holiday vacation with his family.