Despite President Donald Trump’s tweets condemning Attorney General Jeff Sessions for actions Sessions took that allowed for the creation of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Fox News host Chris Wallace said Friday the real culprit is closer to home.
Trump has been on an anti-Sessions spree of late, issuing tweets and comments to the effect that the Mueller probe into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign would never have happened if Sessions had not recused himself form all things related to Russia.
Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday,” took on the role of guest Friday as he appeared on “Shepard Smith Reporting,” and said the root of the Mueller probe was the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, Breitbart reported.
“Remember, though, that the recusal of Sessions did not lead to the special counsel,” Wallace said. “It was the firing of Comey, of James Comey, the FBI director that led to the appointment of the special counsel. And the only person the president can blame for that is himself.”
Wallace admitted that Sessions’ action did have consequences, The Hill reported.
“You know, things have changed, and obviously the decision in the spring of 2017 to recuse himself and everything that has flowed from that has made a big difference,” Wallace said.
Because Sessions recused himself, he could not be involved in selecting the special counsel for the investigation.
Comey’s May 2017 firing was shrouded in confusion because internal Justice Department documents said he had broken the rules a few too many times in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, while the media reported on comments linked to Trump that were taken to mean Russia was the straw that broke the camel’s back and led to Comey being fired.
Trump has since said that was never the case.
Last week, he issued a tweet suggesting that NBC “fudged” the interview with him in which the subject of Russia came up.
“What’s going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks — with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!” Trump tweeted.
What’s going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks – with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2018
In that interview, Trump was quoted as saying, “And, in fact, when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’ It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won,” USA Today reported.
Trump has said that comment should not have been connected with his dismissal of Comey.
“Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia!” Trump tweeted in May. “The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!”
Trump has continued to tweet that the Mueller investigation is part of a political smear campaign against him.
“There is no possible way the Trump Tower meeting between Don Trump jr and a couple of Russians, who have very deep connections to both the Clintons & Fusion GPS, & where no information on the Clintons was exchanged, is a crime. Dems are blinded by their hatred of Trump.” Bongino
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 2, 2018
On Saturday, The New York Times reported on a clandestine Justice Department effort to turn various Russian crime figures into American sources. During their questioning of sources, the DOJ sought to link the Trump campaign and organized crime in Russia.
Adam Waldman, the lawyer for one of the Russian targets, said his client had been willing to testify to a congressional committee without immunity, but not about collusion with Trump because “he doesn’t know anything about that theory and actually doesn’t believe it occurred.
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