Rabat - President Trump ordered his attorney general to fire special counsel Mueller and end the Russia investigation “right now.”
Rabat – President Trump ordered his attorney general to fire special counsel Mueller and end the Russia investigation “right now.”
Trump, who has repeatedly said that there was no collusion in the 2016 presidential election, reiterated his position this week when he said that the ongoing investigations into alleged Russian interference in the US’ domestic politics were a “disgrace” to the US and that special counsel Robert Mueller is a pawn in the Democrats’ “conspiracy” to tarnish his presidency.
“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to strain our country any further,” read Trump’s tweet on Wednesday, August 1. The president then lashed out at Robert Mueller, comparing the special counsel’s entourage to a biased angry and anti-Republican mob only interested in causing further trouble for the Trump administration.
“Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to the USA!”
Trump’s Wednesday tweet seems to have been ignited by the ongoing trial of the president’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is facing 18 charges of bank fraud and tax evasion.
In a Tuesday tweet immediately following the start of Manafort’s trial, Trump said that charges against his former campaign manager had “nothing to do with collusion” and suggested that any attempt to establish links to Russia was “a Hoax.”
Obstruction of justice
But while Trump was busy taking jabs at Mueller, the president’s critics were quick to weigh in, pointing out that Trump’s “order” that Mueller be fired is an obstruction of justice and belies the values that America stands for as a democracy.
“This is an attempt to obstruct justice hiding in plain sight. America must never accept it,” Democratic congressman Adam Schiff tweeted. Schiff asserted that the president cannot request an end to an investigation in which he and his entourage may be implicated.
But Trump’s entourage denied the obstruction of justice claim, saying that the president’s tweet was an opinion, not an order. “It’s not an order, it’s the president’s opinion,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at the White House. Chiming in with Sanders, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, also former mayor of New York, said: “I think it’s very well established the president uses tweets to express his opinions.”
Is Russia-gate a distraction?
While it is tempting to see Trump’s dismissal of ‘Russia gate’ as a traditional Trumpist bombast, some Trump critics have raised concerns about Democrats’ fixation on Russia and Trump’s PR blunders.
Even though they are very critical of Trump, even describing him as a threat to democracy, they are urging Democrats to focus their time and energy on more salient issues, namely winning the working and middle classes back, instead of sitting back and waiting for Trump to self-destruct.
“Beating the right cannot simply be a matter of waiting for a dolt in the Oval office to screw things up,” prominent US journalist and political historian Thomas Frank wrote in an op-ed on July 27.
In a subsequent interview with the Guardian, Frank said that Democrats’ attitudes over the years is actually helping Trump widen his fan base. He suggested that Democrats’ perceived detachment from working and middle class Americans’ hardships reinforces the mounting impression that only Trump and the Republican Party speak for the downtrodden and left-behind.
Speaking to Democracy Now on July 30, MIT emeritus professor Noam Chomsky referred to the media’s obsession with Russian collusion as “marginalia.”
“The media is focusing on issues which are pretty marginal. There are much more serious issues that are being put to the side.”