Donald Trump has personally accused Robert Mueller of committing a crime by deleting sensitive information during his Russia investigation—he did not produce any evidence whatsoever to back up the assertion.
In a Friday morning interview on the Fox Business Network, Trump wildly lurched from topic to topic in a rambling, contradictory and confusing style. The president appeared to become more agitated as the segment continued, until he was practically screaming down the phone by its end.
Anchor Maria Bartiromo barely managed to ask a question of the president, mostly responding “wow” to Trump’s various attacks. Trump’s targets included but weren’t limited to: Mueller, Joe Biden, China, Europe, Google, Twitter, and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. He also issued a threat to Japan where he’s due to visit this week.
As usual, Trump was at his angriest when discussing Mueller. He accused the Special Counsel of trying to erase evidence of text messages between two FBI employees—attorney Lisa Page and agent Peter Strzok. Trump has long been fixated with a text between the two in which they talked of an “insurance policy” if he won in 2016.
“The two lovers, the two pathetic lovers, those two lovebirds,” Trump said of the pair. “Robert Mueller, they worked for him … they had texts back and forth … Mueller terminated them illegally. He terminated the emails, he terminated all of the stuff between Strzok and Page … He terminated them. They’re gone. That’s illegal. That’s a crime.”
Trump appeared to be regurgitating claims from Sean Hannity’s show Tuesday night, when Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow called in and asked about the what happened to the content on Strzok and Page’s phones.
Trump repeated the theory Wednesday—on the morning after it was announced that Mueller had agreed to testify before before Congress on July 17. Although he has previously vowed not to discuss anything that’s not already in his report, his mere presence is likely to increase calls on House Democrats to press ahead with impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Elsewhere in the interview, Trump appeared to confirm reports from earlier this week that he’s been talking with his aides about withdrawing from the Postwar Japan Defense Pact. He angrily complained about what he believes is a lopsided agreement between the countries, which ensures the U.S. will defend Japan if it comes under attack in the future.
“Almost all countries in this world take tremendous advantage of the United States,” said Trump. “If Japan is attacked we will fight World War Three, we will go in and we will protect them and we will fight with our lives … but if we’re attacked Japan doesn’t have to help us at all. They can watch it on a Sony television, the attack. So, there’s a little difference.”
Then the president turned his fire on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, whom he appointed. He complained that Powell “doesn’t do anything for us,” and that interest rate rises are working against the U.S. economy.