Upon learning that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate his campaign for alleged Russian collusion, President Donald Trump reportedly said, “I’m fucked,” the Mueller Report alleges. (Note: The language is graphic, but that’s how it appears in the actual report.)
When then Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the President that a Special Counsel had been appointed, the President slumped back in his chair and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked,” the Mueller Report claims. The quote is based on notes from another person in the room, Sessions’ Chief of Staff Jody Hunt.
That colorful line was among the new details included in the newly released Robert Mueller report, which was posted on the U.S. Department of Justice website. Although the report outlines various links between Trump campaign officials and Russians, it concludes that there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian governmental efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, which occurred through social media campaigns and hacking. (Trump appointee Bill Barr controversially opted not to charge Trump on separate obstruction of justice accusations.)
Here’s the excerpt containing the “I’m fucked” line.
The president, of course, made his ire toward Sessions publicly known, and the AG later resigned and was replaced with Barr. The long-anticipated Mueller Report, albeit a somewhat redacted one, was released on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Here’s the link to the full report.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump Accused Then Attorney General Jeff Sessions of Not Protecting Him, Bringing up Robert Kennedy & Eric Holder, the Report Alleges
The report explain that, on May 17, 2017, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert S. Mueller III as Special Counsel and “authorized him to conduct the Russia investigation and matters that arose from the investigation.”
The president then learned of the Special Counsel’s appointment “from Sessions, who was with the President, Hunt, and McGahn conducting interviews for a new FBI Director. Sessions stepped out of the Oval Office to take a call from Rosenstein, who told him about the Special Counsel appointment, and Sessions then returned to inform the President of the news.”
According to notes written by Hunt, when Sessions told the President that a Special Counsel had been appointed, the President slumped back in his chair and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.” (You can read more about Hunt’s background here. Hunt is a lawyer who has worked for federal service since 1999).
The President “became angry and lambasted the Attorney General for his decision to recuse from the investigation,” the Mueller Report says.
“How could you let this happen, Jeff?” the report says Trump asked.
“The President said the position of Attorney General was his most important appointment and that Sessions had ‘let (him) down,’ contrasting him to Eric Holder and Robert Kennedy.”
Sessions recalled that the President said to him, “you were supposed to protect me,” or words to that effect, the report alleges.
“The President returned to the consequences of the appointment,” says the report, which quotes him as adding, “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
The Mueller Report provides details about what Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation unearthed into allegations of Russian collusion as well as possible obstruction of justice. You can also read the report here.
“At 11:00 this morning, I will transmit copies of a public version of the Special Counsel’s report to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees,” AG William Barr said. “The Department of Justice will also make the report available to the American public by posting it on the Department’s website after it has been delivered to Congress.”
Barr also said: “…thanks to the Special Counsel’s thorough investigation, we now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign — or the knowing assistance of any other Americans for that matter. That is something that all Americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed.”
Attorney General Barr Held a Press Conference on the Mueller Report & Defended His Handling of Its Release
At the news conference, Barr defended his decision to not charge Trump with obstruction of justice. “We felt the department had to” make that decision, Barr said in the news conference. You can read a transcript of Barr’s remarks here. In one news-breaking item, he revealed Mueller looked at 10 possible episodes relating to obstruction of justice.
“As you know, one of the primary purposes of the Special Counsel’s investigation was to determine whether members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, or any individuals associated with that campaign, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election,” said Barr. “Volume I of the Special Counsel’s report describes the results of that investigation. As you will see, the Special Counsel’s report states that his ‘investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.'”
Trump Called the Now-Released Report ‘Presidential Harassment’ & a ‘Hoax’
President Trump spent the morning before the Mueller Report’s release defining how he wants the public to see it. “The Greatest Political Hoax of all time! Crimes were committed by Crooked, Dirty Cops and DNC/The Democrats,” he wrote on Twitter.
Trump held a news conference on April 18 to give his own take on the report. “This should never happen to another president again, this hoax,” Trump said.
For their part, Democrats have been very critical of the attorney general’s handling of the Mueller Report. Among other things, they have criticized Barr’s decision to release his own written four-page summary. They have criticized his decision to hold a press conference before the release of the report, arguing that it all amounts to him trying to spin the public.
They have criticized reports that the White House was reportedly briefed on the Mueller Report before that press conference. And they have criticized his decision, with Rod Rosenstein, to not charge Trump with obstruction of justice. The central criticism against Barr is that, as a Trump appointee, he’s too biased, Democrats say.
You can read Barr’s previous summary of the Mueller Report here.