Trump Loses It in Press Conference - Tells Journalists It's 'Fine' If They Call His Behavior Obstruction of Justice
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump gave an unhinged press conference in which he, among other things, said George Washington might have committed sexual assault, attacked Canada, denied the fact that the entire UN laughed at him yesterday, and referred to a Kurdish reporter as "Mr. Kurd."
One of his craziest moments, however, might have been when a reporter asked him about the ongoing controversy surrounding Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who sources initially reported was being fired earlier this week in a blur of confusion: "Mr. President, are you planning to fire Rod Rosenstein?"
"I'm talking to him," said Trump. "We've had a good talk. He said he never said it, he said he doesn't believe it, he said he has a lot of respect for me, and he was very nice, and we'll see, and he is a member of the Trump administration in that sense, it is the Justice Department. I would certainly prefer not doing that. There was no collusion, there was no obstruction — unless you call obstruction the fact that I fight back. I do fight back. I really fight back. I mean, if you call that obstruction, that's fine."
Pres. Trump: "There was no collusion, there was no obstruction—unless you call obstruction the fact that I fight back. I do fight back. I really fight back. I mean, if you call that obstruction, that's fine." https://t.co/dMeVjlPoyT pic.twitter.com/SqJ998xWkj— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) September 26, 2018
In other words, the President of the United States is telling reporters they should feel free to say he committed obstruction of justice with regard to the Russia investigation if they want to.
Trump has been dogged with accusations of obstruction of justice ever since he fired FBI Director James Comey in an attempt to stop the investigation. Rosenstein, who has overseen the Russia investigation ever since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, soon after appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to prosecute the case. Some reports suggest that Mueller himself has investigated Trump's behavior, including his tweets, with respect to an obstruction probe.
Trump and his supporters, who have called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt" as his prosecutors have secured several indictments and guilty pleas from members of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, have devloped a frosty relationship with Rosenstein as these events have unfolded. Many have called for Rosenstein to be fired, a move some fear would blow up the investigation. These fears came to a head last week, after The New York Times published a report detailing Rosenstein's apparent disrespect for Trump behind closed doors.