With the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the fate of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into a possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials has been flung into uncertainty.
Much to the chagrin of President Donald Trump, Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation after his own meetings with Russian officials came to light. The new acting Attorney General and Sessions’ former Chief of Staff, Matt Whitaker, isn’t bound by that recusal, despite being a vocal critic of the Mueller investigation.
Many began calling foul when Whitaker was assigned to replace Jeff Sessions and to oversee the Mueller investigation, but now President Donald Trump claims he didn’t know about Whitaker’s long record of decrying the case.
In the interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace, Donald Trump says:
“I did not know that. I did not know that he took views on the Mueller as such…What do you do when a person’s right? There is no collusion. He happened to be right if he said there is no collusion.”
Trump’s assurances that there was “no collusion” have become a familiar refrain since before the investigation but have hardly assured anyone but his staunch supporters.
As overseer of the Mueller Investigation, Whitaker could end it completely or decrease its budget and resources to the point that it’s no longer effective.
Many people are calling foul regarding Trump claims that he didn’t know Whitaker’s stance.
So he randomly picked the only former us attorney who was outspoken about ending the Mueller investigation and defending Trump? I see.— Dan Schmitt (@Coach_Schmitt1) November 18, 2018
Sure he didn't, he could hardly wait 24 hrs to fire Sessions after the midterms. Than instead of making Rosenstein AG. He skips over him and makes Whitaker AG. Who only clearly got the job because he gone on Fox News attacking the Mueller investigation.— SeriousJaccount (@Jseriousaccount) November 18, 2018
is he an actual idiot or does he just play one on TV?— Art Projex pB (@artprojexpb) November 18, 2018
Mr Trump is a pathological liar. Mr Whitaker did everything but a song and dance to get Trumps attention. Just look at Mr Whitaker’s resume and ask yourself how the hell is he acting Attorney General for the US....— JE Alvey (@Jeffreyalvey) November 18, 2018
Correction: BREAKING: Trump lies again, claims he "did not know" Whitaker's views on the Russia probe despite insurmountable verifiable proof to the contrary.— UsHadrons (@ushadrons) November 18, 2018
As to whether or not the President would intervene if Whitaker moved to stop the investigation, Trump conveniently said no.
His response stoked the fires of public outrage even more.
Of course. Trump doesn't want Mueller to go after Putin's minions or himself— Don Mathews (@MathewsDomingo) November 19, 2018
Trump will start tweeting “I don’t have an attorney general” again if Whitaker fails to sabotage Mueller’s investigation. We don’t know what Whitaker has been doing since his appointment. All we know is that Trump hasn’t tweeted “I don’t have an attorney general.” https://t.co/SwzS4QVDw0— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 19, 2018
You mean Trump wouldn't hesitate to obstruct justice, AGAIN?— 🇺🇸🇵🇷🌊 Name is Bishop (@BishesBrew) November 18, 2018
Putting blocks (and/or eyeballs) on Mueller is precisely why Trump “appointed” him. Let’s not play dumb here. We know what Trump is doing. The question is whether or not we will be eyewitnesses to the dismantling of the rule of law - or if we will defend our democracy.— Allyn Brooks-LaSure (@BrooksLaSure) November 18, 2018
Though Whitaker will almost certainly take steps to impede the investigation, an incoming Democratic House of Representatives may still be enough to keep it afloat.