Lots of news today. Bill Cosby was found guilty, finally. You’ve heard that Ronny Jackson withdrew as nominee to head the VA; no surprise there.Â Mike Pompeo has been confirmed as SecState. Judge Kimba Wood has appointed a special master, former federal prosecutor Barbara Jones, to review which of Michael Cohen’s seized documents can be used by current federal prosecutors. There’s supposed to be a hearing on the Michael Cohen matter going on right now, in which Trump’s attorneys are asking that their boss be allowed to review materials also. No resolution on that yet. Cohen, meanwhile, has said he will take the Fifth.
This morning the Creature called in to Fox and Friends. I want to thank Aaron Blake at WaPo for providing an annotated transcript of the whole thing. He let us know that he got Melania a freaking card for her birthday. He’s very busy, you know. This is followed by several paragraphs of free-association ranting that make little sense. And it grew more unhinged as it got closer to what’s really bothering him — James Comey and the Mueller investigation.
He went on and on about Comey leaking classified information; to this day, nobody’s demonstrated that anything Comey leaked was classified at all.Â Trump now says he never claimed he didn’t stay overnight in Moscow in 2013; this is a couple of days after headlines said the claim was bogus.
On the same day his attorneys went to federal court to argue that Cohen’s documents shouldn’t be released to prosecutors until Trump has reviewed them, Trump said Cohen’s businesses had nothing to do with him. (Update: Now I see that federal prosecutors have already used Trump’s words from this morning against him.)
But the complete meltdown came at the end.
KILMEADE: But does it make you want to talk to Mueller and put an end to it? Does it make you want to talk to him because that’s what Rudy Giuliani â€”
TRUMP: Well, if I can. The problem is that it’s such a â€” it’s such â€” if you take a look they’re so conflicted. The people that are doing the investigation â€” you have 13 people that are Democrats. You have Hillary Clinton people. You have people that worked on Hillary Clinton’s foundation. They’re all â€” I donâ€™t mean Democrats, I mean like the real deal. And then you look at the phony Lisa Page and Strzok and the memos back and forth, and the FBI. And by the way, you take a poll at the FBI. I love the FBI, the FBI loves me. Â But the top people in the FBI, headed by Comey, were crooked. You look at McCabe where he takes $700,000 from somebody supporting Hillary Clinton. He takes $700,000 for his wife’s campaign. And by the way, didnâ€™t even spend that money. They kept some of it because under that law you’re â€” he took seven. He took $700,000 from a group headed by Terry McAuliffe who was under investigation by McCabe and the FBI and that investigation disappeared. He took $700,000. And you look at the corruption at the top of the FBI. It’s a disgrace. And our Justice Department, which I try and stay away from, but at some point I won’t.
TRUMP: Our Justice Department should be looking at that kind of stuff, not the nonsense of collusion with Russia. There is no collusion with me â€”
EARHARDT: All right.
KILMEADE: All right.
TRUMP: â€” and Russia, and everyone knows it.
KILMEADE: Everyone. We could talk to you all day but it looks like â€”
KILMEADE: â€” you have a million things to do.
TRUMP: Well, you could have â€”
KILMEADE: But I hope you can join us again, Mr. President.
Earlier in the interview, he had said this:
“Because of the fact that they have this witch hunt going on with people in the Justice Department that shouldn’t be there, they have a witch hunt against the president of the United States going on, I’ve taken the position – and I don’t have to take this position, and maybe I’ll change – that I will not be involved with the Justice Department.”
The Fox & Friends crew got him off that subject, but he came back to it. But, in fact, he is supposed to take the position that he has to stay out of the Justice Department, because that’s how the Justice Department is set up, to operate independently of the president’s influence. Basically, he’s on national television threatening to co-opt the Justice Department for his own political purposes — to punish his enemies and protect himself. On national television.