As for why federal law enforcement launched this raid, that gets a little tricky. It appears that officials are looking for information about the $130,000 in hush money Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election, though as Rachel noted on last night’s show, Cohen has been at the center of all kinds of controversies, and the Washington Post and New York Times reported separately that the president’s attorney is also under investigation for possible bank fraud.
One that’s perfectly clear, however, is that Trump isn’t taking the news especially well.
Trump wasted no time addressing the raids when reporters entered the Cabinet Room where he was meeting with senior military leaders, starting his remarks by calling Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” and a “disgrace.”
It’s “an attack on our country in a true sense, an attack on what we all stand for,” Trump said of the raids, which were first reported by The New York Times.
To fully appreciate the scope of the presidential tantrum, it’s worth checking out the transcript. Trump characterized the FBI raid as a break-in; he used the words “disgrace” or “disgraceful” nine times; and he lashed out at the special counsel’s office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, federal investigators, Hillary Clinton, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
One gets the sense the president is unfamiliar with the phrase, ‘Never let ‘em see you sweat.”
As for Robert Mueller, Trump was asked whether he intends to fire the special prosecutor. The president didn’t answer directly, though he did say, “Well, I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on. We’ll see what happens…. And many people have said, ‘You should fire him.’”
As recently as three weeks ago, prominent congressional Republicans said they saw no need to shield Mueller from White House interference because, as several GOP lawmakers said, they saw no evidence that Trump might fire the special counsel.
Perhaps now would be a good time for Congress to reconsider those assumptions.