Trump: Naming Special Counsel Is ‘Very, Very Negative Thing’ For National Unity

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with House and Senate leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump on Thursday said the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election reflects poorly on national unity.

“I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we’re a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country,” Trump said, according to ABC’s David Muir. Trump’s comments came in a luncheon at the White House with network anchors.

Trump said, according to Muir, that the Russia probe is “a pure excuse for the Democrats having lost an election that they should have easily won.”

“That’s all this is. I think it shows division, and it shows that we’re not together as a country,” he said. “And I think it’s a very, very negative thing. And hopefully, this can go quickly.”

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel in the investigation into Russian election meddling.

Trump’s initial response was measured.

“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity,” he said in a statement Wednesday evening. “I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.”

On Thursday morning, however, Trump dispelled that illusion in one of his trademark morning tweet storms.

“This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” he tweeted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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