WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump reacted with dismay when told a special counsel had been appointed to look into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to the Mueller report published Thursday.
Trump was informed on May 17, 2017 of the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel by then-attorney general Jeff Sessions, the report said.
“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, citing notes from the meeting.
Trump then became angry at Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation because of his prior contacts with Russian officials, it said.
“The president became angry and lambasted the attorney general for his decision to recuse from the investigation, stating ‘How could you let this happen, Jeff?'” the report said.
“Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,” Trump was quoted as saying. “It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything.
“This is the worst thing that ever happened to me,” Trump added.
In addition to Trump’s reaction to Mueller’s appointment, the report also provided details of the president’s efforts on several occasions to have the special counsel removed. —AFP