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Trump’s conspiracy-filled interview with Fox & Friends

“[Mueller] is very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome.”

Trump’s Fox and Friends interview

President Trump suggested in an interview with Fox & Friends, released Friday morning, that special counsel Robert Mueller is possibly too close to former FBI Director James Comey to execute a fair investigation.

“[Mueller] is very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome. But he is also — we are going to have to see,” he told the co-host of the Trump-friendly morning show.

The president has reportedly been considering firing Mueller, according to Trump friend Chris Ruddy, despite widespread opposition. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asserted that Mueller had his full confidence and he didn’t see a reason to terminate the special counsel.

In one portion of the interview, co-host Ainsley Earhardt talked about Mueller hiring attorneys who had once worked for Hillary Clinton to help with the investigation. Trump replied, “I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth from that standpoint. But Robert Mueller is an honorable man, and hopefully he will come up with an honorable solution.”

Trump also reiterated the sentiment he expressed via tweet on Thursday — that he did not make tapes of his and Comey’s interactions.

So why did he tease the idea of there being tapes? Here’s Trump explaining his bluff:

And you read all about it and I've been reading about it the last couple of months, the seriousness and horrible situation with surveillance all over the place. And you have been hearing the word “unmasking,” a word you probably never heard before. So you never know what's out there, but I didn't tape and I don't have any tape, and I didn't tape. But, when he found out that I, you know, that there may be tapes out there, whether it's governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed. I mean, you will have to take a look at that because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events.

Earhardt complimented Trump’s tactic: “It was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings.”

“Well, it wasn't very stupid,” Trump replied, and then went on to imply that Comey was forced to tell the truth because of the threat of tapes.

Read the full exchange between President Trump and Earhardt below.


EARHARDT: Big news today, you didn’t — you said you didn’t tape James Comey. Do you want to explain that? Why did you want him to believe that you possibly did that?

TRUMP: Well, I didn't tape him. You never know what's happening when you see that the Obama administration and perhaps longer than that was doing all of this unmasking and surveillance. And you read all about it and I've been reading about it the last couple of months, the seriousness of the — and horrible situation with surveillance all over the place. And you have been hearing the word “unmasking,” a word you probably never heard before. So you never know what's out there, but I didn't tape and I don't have any tape, and I didn't tape.

But when he found out that I, you know, that there may be tapes out there, whether it's governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed. I mean, you will have to take a look at that because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events. And my story didn't change. My story was always a straight story. My story was always the truth. But you'll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed. But I did not tape.

EARHARDT: It was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings.

TRUMP: Well, it wasn't very stupid, I can tell you that. He was — he did admit that what I said was right. And if you look further back, before he heard about that, I think maybe he wasn't admitting that, so you'll have to do a little investigative reporting to determine that. But I don't think it will be that hard.

EARHARDT: Robert Mueller do you think he should recuse himself? He is friends with James Comey. He has hired attorneys that were part of Hillary Clinton's foundation and given money to both President Obama and Hillary Clinton's campaign. Should he recuse himself?

TRUMP: He is very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome. Uh, but he is also — we are going to have to see. We are going to have to see in terms — look, there has been no obstruction. There has been no collusion. There has been leaking by Comey. But there’s been no collusion and no obstruction, and virtually everybody agrees to that. So we’ll have to see. I can say that the people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters. Some of them worked for Hillary Clinton. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth from that standpoint. But Robert Mueller is an honorable man, and hopefully he will come up with an honorable solution.