Trump escalates attacks vs. Mueller, McCabe, Comey

By Allen Cone  |  Updated March 18, 2018 at 1:09 PM
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March 18 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump escalated his attacks Sunday against the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller's team as well as fired FBI director James Comey and deputy Andrew McCabe.

Trump tweet about three times on Twitter on Sunday morning after also commenting on the investigation, the Justice Department and the FBI on Saturday. In the past Trump has not specifically mentioned Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Russians and members of his campaign as well as possible obstruction of justice.

"Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans?," the president wrote on Twitter. "Another Dem recently added ... does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!"

Mueller himself is a Republican and some members of the special counsel's team have donated to Democrats in the past, including Andrew Weissmann, who donated $2,300 to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer posted on Twitter that Trump "is floating trial balloons about derailing the Mueller investigation. Our GOP colleagues, particularly the leadership, have an obligation to our country to stand up now and make it clear that firing Mueller is a red line for our democracy that cannot be crossed."

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also warned Trump against firing Mueller.

"As I said before, if he tried to do that, that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency," the South Carolina Republican said on CNN's State of the Union. "The only reason that Mr. Mueller could be dismissed is for cause. I see no cause when it comes to Mr. Mueller."

Graham added Mueller was "doing a good job."

Trump also took aim Sunday at McCabe and Comey.

The president disputed McCabe's assertion Saturday that he had taken notes of their meetings in the Oval Office.

"Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me," Trump wrote. "I don't believe he made memos except to help his own agenda, probably at a later date. Same with lying James Comey. Can we call them Fake Memos?

On Friday night, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe, who had scrutinized possible links between the Trump team and Russian election meddling.

The termination, two days before he was to retires, followed recommendations from the Justice Department's inspector general and the FBI office that handles discipline.

Afterward, McCabe said in a statement the firing was "driven by the president himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn."

John Dowd, a lawyer for Trump on Saturday, said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should end Robert Mueller's investigation into whether Trump's campaign had ties with Russia.

"I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe's boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt dossier," Dowd said in a statement.

Dowd said he wasn't speaking for the president.

Trump also abruptly fired Comey in May on recommendations from the top two officials in the U.S. Department of Justice: Sessions and Rosenstein.

"Wow, watch Comey lie under oath to Senator G when asked 'have you ever been an anonymous source...or known someone else to be an anonymous source...?' He said strongly 'never, no.' He lied as shown clearly on @foxandfriends," wrote Trump wrote on Sunday, referring to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

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