- President Donald Trump broke down upon learning of the special counsel and said, “I’m fucked,” according to the newly released report from Robert Mueller’s investigation.
- Evidence citing notes and testimony describes Trump becoming irate at the news that the special counsel would take over the investigation after the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself.
- Sessions said after leaving the Justice Department that he had no regrets about recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump broke down at the news that the Justice Department had convened a special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election to the point where he speculated that his presidency was over, according to the final report from Robert Mueller released Thursday.
Citing testimony from then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and notes from Sessions’ chief of staff, Jody Hunt, the special counsel’s report said Trump slouched into his chair and said, “I’m fucked.”
Sessions had recused himself from the investigation because of his involvement in Trump’s 2016 campaign. His recusal later allowed a special counsel to be appointed, with Mueller’s report saying Sessions personally informed Trump of the news, causing Trump to become irate.
“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,” the report said. “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.'”
The report said Trump “became angry and lambasted the Attorney General for his decision to recuse from the investigation, stating, ‘How could you let this happen, Jeff?'”
“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,” the report added. “Sessions recalled that the President said to him, ‘you were supposed to protect me,’ or words to that effect.”
The passage describing the moment Trump learned of the special counsel’s appointment also indicated Trump believed the investigation would significantly harm his presidency.
“Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,” Trump said, according to the report. “It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
Sessions was ousted from the Department of Justice about a year and a half later, with Trump reiterating his anger, which he often expressed publicly, about the former Alabama senator’s recusal. But Sessions said in a November 2018 interview with The Wall Street Journal that he had no regrets about the process and still felt he made the right call.
“I recused myself, not because of any asserted wrongdoing, or any belief that I may have been involved in any wrongdoing in the campaign,” Sessions once told the Senate Intelligence Committee, but because he thought a Department of Justice regulation “required it.”