World

Trump threatens to 'get involved' if Justice Dept., FBI don't 'start doing their job'

U.S. President Donald Trump warned at a campaign-style rally in Indiana on Thursday that he would "get involved" if the FBI and Justice Department don't "start doing their job."

U.S. president suggests leadership of department, bureau are biased against Republicans

Donald Trump addresses supporters at a campaign rally on Thursday in Evansville, Ind. Referring to the FBI and Justice Department, the president said: 'I will get involved and I'll get in there if I have to.' (Denny Simmons/Evansville Courier & Press via Associated Press)

U.S. President Donald Trump warned at a campaign-style rally in Indiana on Thursday that he would "get involved" if the FBI and Justice Department don't "start doing their job."

Speaking later at the event in Evansville, Trump suggested the leadership of the department and bureau were biased against Republicans and "people are angry."

Trump speaks at Indiana rally

CBC News

2 years agoVideo
0:47
U.S. President Donald Trump criticizes the FBI and Justice Department at a campaign-style rally. 0:47

"Our Justice Department and our FBI — at the top of each, because inside they have incredible people — but our Justice Department and our FBI have to start doing their job and doing it right and doing it now," Trump said.

"I wanted to stay out, but at some point if it doesn't straighten out properly ... I will get involved and I'll get in there if I have to."

Trump has held Attorney General Jeff Sessions responsible, in part, for the Russia investigation. After Sessions recused himself, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, something Trump has called a "witch hunt."

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a meeting at the Department of Justice building in Washington on Wednesday. Trump renewed his public attacks on Sessions last week. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press)

Asked in the Bloomberg News interview whether he would comply if Mueller issued a subpoena for him to appear for questioning, Trump said, "I'll see what happens."

"I view it differently," Bloomberg quoted Trump as saying. "I view it as an illegal investigation" because "great scholars" have said that "there should never have been a special counsel."

Rare rebuttal

The president resumed his attacks on Sessions via Twitter last week, saying the attorney general had never fully exerted control over the Justice Department.

Sessions, in a rare rebuttal, responded that he took control of the department the day he became attorney general and would not allow it to be "improperly influenced by political considerations."

Trump said in a Twitter post on Saturday that Sessions "doesn't understand what is happening underneath his command position." He charged that Mueller's probe was "highly conflicted" and that "real corruption goes untouched."

Some Republican lawmakers have predicted Trump would replace Sessions, a former U.S. senator, after the Nov. 6 elections.

Trump also told Bloomberg that Sessions, whom he has repeatedly attacked for recusing himself from oversight of the Russia probe, was safe in his job until the November congressional elections.

But he declined to say if he would keep Sessions on after that.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now