President Trump on Sunday renewed his accusations that special counsel Robert Mueller has “conflicts of interest” in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, citing a previous business dispute between the two men.
In a sequence of tweets attacking the special counsel’s credibility, Trump noted that he and Mueller had “a very nasty & contentious business relationship.”
Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
Trump has alleged on multiple occasions via Twitter that Mueller has unspecified conflicts of interest; however, Sunday’s tweet marks the first time he’s elaborated beyond such accusations.
The president seemingly confirmed a New York Times report from January that said Trump attempted to fire Mueller in June 2017 over alleged conflicts of interest.
The Times reported that Trump listed three conflicts he believed should disqualify Mueller: A dispute over fees at Trump’s National Golf Club in Virginia, his interview for FBI director before being named special counsel, and Mueller’s previous employment at a law firm that represents Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Trump reportedly backed off his demand after White House counsel Don McGahn refused Trump’s order and threatened to quit.
Multiple reports indicated Trump interviewed Mueller for the vacancy, but it’s unclear if Trump turned him down for the position before he was named special counsel in May 2017.
The president has attacked Mueller’s investigation with increasing regularity in recent months, frequently decrying it as a “witch hunt” and a “hoax” in an attempt to discredit Mueller and his probe.
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