Trump as­serts he has power to par­don

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said Satur­day that he has “com­plete power’’ to is­sue par­dons, an as­ser­tion that comes amid in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in last year’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. It was one of many topics that ap­peared to oc­cupy the pres­i­dent’s mind as the day broke.

On a day when most peo­ple are ready to for­get about the is­sues that nagged them dur­ing the week, Trump revved up. In an early morn­ing flurry of 10 tweets, he com­mented about par­dons, for­mer pres­i­den­tial ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton, son Don Jr., health care, the USS Ger­ald Ford, the at­tor­ney gen­eral and other is­sues.

Trump said in one of his 10 mes­sages: “While all agree the U. S. Pres­i­dent has the com­plete power to par­don, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS.’’

The Wash­ing­ton Post re­cently re­ported that Trump has in­quired about the au­thor­ity he has as pres­i­dent to par­don aides, rel­a­tives or even him­self in con­nec­tion with the widen­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the elec­tion and whether any Trump as­so­ciates were in­volved.

The pres­i­dent has long crit­i­cized leaks of in­for­ma­tion about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and has urged author­i­ties to pros­e­cute leak­ers.

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