President Donald Trump said he doesn’t intend to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign
“I haven’t given it any thought. Well, I’ve been reading about it from you people,” Trump said Thursday during an impromptu press conference that followed a national security briefing with his team at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
“You say, ‘Oh, I’m going to dismiss him.’ No, I’m not dismissing anybody,” Trump told reporters, referring to Mueller, a former FBI director.
“I mean, I want them to get on with the task. But I also want the Senate and the House to come out with their findings. Now, judging from the people leaving the meetings, they leave the meetings all the time and they say, ‘We haven’t found anything.’”
Trump has called the Russia investigation a “witch hunt” and repeatedly denied any collusion.
Reports surfaced last week that Mueller had impaneled a grand jury in Washington. On Wednesday, news broke that FBI agents had made a predawn raid on the home of Paul Manafort, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, late last month.
“He was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time, relatively short period of time, but I’ve always known him to be a good man,” Trump said of Manafort.
He expressed disappointment that the FBI conducted a surprise search of Manafort’s residence in the wee hours, saying, “they do that very seldom. ”
“So, I was surprised to see it,” he added. “I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man.”
Trump said he and his administration have cooperated with Mueller, but seemed to suggest minor paperwork problems could turn up. He said:
We have an investigation of something that never took place. And all I say is ‘Work with them,’ because this is an event that never took place. Now, as far as somebody else, where did they file the right papers, or did they forget to file a paper.
You know, like I guarantee that if we went around and looked at everybody who made a speech or whatever these people did, that’s up to them. Did they do something wrong because they didn’t file the right document or whatever? Perhaps, you’d have to look at them, but there are probably a lot of people in Washington who have done the same thing.