WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) hit at President Trump’s comments expressing frustration that he doesn’t have more power over the Justice Department or FBI.
Asked today whether he would fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions if the Justice Department doesn’t investigate his Democratic rivals, Trump replied, “I don’t know.”
“Like me, most Americans hope that our justice system is independent and free of political interference,” Corker said in a statement. “President Trump’s pressuring of the Justice Department and FBI to pursue cases against his adversaries and calling for punishment before trials take place are totally inappropriate and not only undermine our justice system but erode the American people’s confidence in our institutions.”
In a radio interview with Mediaite’s Larry O’Connor recorded Thursday afternoon at the White House, Trump said that “the saddest thing, because I’m the president of the United States” is “I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department.”
“I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I’m not supposed to be doing the kinds of things that I would love to be doing. And I’m very frustrated by it,” Trump added.
“Why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with the dossier, and the kind of money?” he continued. “I don’t know, is it possible that they paid $12.4 million for the dossier? And how was it – which is total phony, fake – and how was it used?”
Trump tweeted Thursday night: “Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems. New Donna B book says she paid for and stole the Dem Primary. What about the deleted E-mails, Uranium, Podesta, the Server, plus, plus… People are angry. At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper. The American public deserves it!”
While leaving the White House today to depart on his Asia trip, Trump told reporters that he’s “really not involved with the Justice Department.”
“I’d like to let it run itself. But honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats. They should be looking at Podesta and all of that dishonesty. They should be looking at a lot of things,” he said. “And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.”
Former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today that the string of comments “confirms in my mind that this president has no idea where the lines are … there are certain rules involved with president of the United States.”
“He’s crossed those lines and, frankly, all he’s doing is making more trouble for himself,” Panetta told CNN.
Trump also tweeted Thursday night, “Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets [sic] go FBI & Justice Dept.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) responded with her own tweets: “Slurs, lies & trash talk won’t stop the FBI from doing its job. This isn’t a dictatorship. It’s our democracy. And it’s stronger than you.”
“The DNC shouldn’t play favorites. But that’s a whole lot different from illegally conspiring with Russia. The FBI knows the difference,” Warren continued. “You might think your tweets are cute, @realDonaldTrump, but they won’t stop Mueller’s investigation or keep your people out of jail.”