Trump: Impeachment talk ‘ridiculous’
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.