President Donald Trump on Friday night defended his new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker as a “highly respected U.S. Attorney” while still insisting that he “did not know” Whitaker.
Matthew G. Whitaker is a highly respected former U.S. Attorney from Iowa. He was chosen by Jeff Sessions to be his Chief of Staff. I did not know Mr. Whitaker. Likewise, as Chief, I did not know Mr. Whitaker except primarily as he traveled with A.G. Sessions. No social contact…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
Soon after Whitaker was announced as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ temporary replacement, he came under scrutiny for his criticism against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Whitaker also may have violated the terms of his right-wing group’s tax exemption status when he repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Now the President seems to be hedging between the two claims by stating he “did not know” Whitaker “except primarily as he traveled with A.G. Sessions” when he served as Sessions’ chief of staff.
“No social contact,” Trump insisted about the man he previously described as a “great guy.”