Trump: Im­peach­ment talk ‘ridicu­lous’

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

USA TO­DAY WASH­ING­TON Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Thurs­day flatly de­nied ask­ing ex-FBI Direc­tor James Comey to drop his in­ves­ti­ga­tion into for­mer Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Michael Flynn, and he de­scribed Demo­cratic talk of pos­si­ble im­peach­ment as “to­tally ridicu­lous.”

Rev­e­la­tions that Comey — whom Trump abruptly fired last week — kept de­tailed notes of his meet­ings with Trump roiled Wash­ing­ton politics this week. Asked whether he, as Comey’s memos in­di­cate, pressed the for­mer FBI direc­tor to stop in­ves­ti­gat­ing Flynn, Trump cut off the re­porter, say­ing only: “No, no — next ques­tion.”

One day af­ter the Jus­tice Depart­ment ap­pointed a spe­cial coun­sel to take over the FBI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into pos­si­ble col­lu­sion be­tween Trump cam­paign as­so­ciates and Rus­sia dur­ing last year’s elec­tion, the pres­i­dent again de­nied any im­proper ac­tion.

Trump also curtly dis­missed Demo­cratic con­gres­sional chat­ter about the prospect of im­peach­ment for pos­si­ble ob­struc­tion of jus­tice, call­ing it “to­tally ridicu­lous — ev­ery­body thinks so.”

These were Trump’s first live com­ments about re­ports of the Comey memos and the ap­point­ment of for­mer FBI Direc­tor Robert Mueller as spe­cial coun­sel.

Even as Trump said that “I re­spect the move” to ap­point a spe­cial coun­sel for the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion, he in­sisted that “the en­tire thing has been a witch hunt” that has di­vided the coun­try and served as a dis­trac­tion for his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s agenda.

“We have to get back to run­ning this coun­try re­ally, re­ally well,” Trump said at the news con­fer­ence af­ter meet­ings with Pres­i­dent Juan Manuel San­tos of Colom­bia.

He later said, “We have to get back to work­ing our coun­try prop­erly so that we can take care of the prob­lems that we have. We have plenty of prob­lems. We’ve done a fan­tas­tic job.”

Mueller and his team will over­see the on­go­ing FBI probe into pos­si­ble links be­tween Trump cam­paign as­so­ciates — in­clud­ing Flynn — and Rus­sians who sought to in­flu­ence the elec­tion through hack­ing and other forms of sab­o­tage to un­der­mine Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Trump took to Twit­ter on Thurs­day to de­nounce the in­ves­ti­ga­tion as the “sin­gle great­est witch hunt of a politi­cian in Amer­i­can his­tory.”

“With all of the il­le­gal acts that took place in the Clin­ton cam­paign & Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion, there was never a spe­cial coun­sel ap­pointed!” Trump tweeted.

It was un­clear what “il­le­gal acts” Trump was re­fer­ring to, though as a can­di­date he pledged to ap­point a spe­cial coun­sel to in­ves­ti­gate Clin­ton’s use of pri­vate email dur­ing her years as sec­re­tary of state.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.