Trump says collusion, which he totally didn’t do, isn’t a crime anyway

“Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!” Trump wrote.

Much like O.J. Simpson, President Donald Trump didn’t do it. But if he did, it’s not a crime anyway. “Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!” Trump wrote on his favorite medium Tuesday morning.

Trump’s comments echo ones his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, made just a day earlier on CNN. “I don't even know if that's a crime, colluding about Russians,” Giuliani said. “Hacking is the crime. The president didn’t hack. He didn’t pay for the hacking.” In an interview on Fox News, Giuliani also said, "I've been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime. Collusion is not a crime."

That belief isn’t new for Trump’s camp. Back in December, the president told The New York Times that “there is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime.” He’s also repeatedly accused the Democrats of collusion in tweets and interviews.

But the White House’s renewed focus on exonerating Trump comes as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections inches closer to Trump’s inner circle. Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, recently said Trump gave the go-ahead for the now-infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. To be fair, collusion isn’t a crime. Former FBI Director James Comey has said collusion isn’t “actually a thing that exists under the federal laws of the United States,” as CNN noted. Rather, conspiring with a foreign government to commit crimes against the U.S. can be illegal. Obstruction of justice, or interfering with Mueller’s probe, could also be a crime. Plus, Mueller is able to charge people with crimes unrelated to collusion. Take Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. His trial — the first of Mueller's federal probe — begins Tuesday in Virginia on charges of disguising overseas income, money laundering, tax fraud and failing to register as a foreign agent. Mueller has charged 35 other people related to the investigation.

Cover image: President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in the East Room of the White House, Monday, July 30, 2018, in Washington. Trump is diving deep into Florida's Republican politics, joining his preferred candidate for governor in a competitive primary. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)