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We now know how President Trump reacted upon learning that Robert Mueller had been appointed special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election. The president said: “I’m fucked.”
That’s according to notes taken by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff Jody Hunt, cited in Mueller’s now public (but redacted) report on his office’s investigation.
"Oh, my God,” Trump said on May 17, 2017, according to Hunt’s notes. “This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm fucked."
Trump also described the news as the worst thing that had ever happened to him and lambasted Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, telling his attorney general that he was meant to protect him.
"Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels, it ruins your presidency,” Trump said. “It takes years and years and I won 't be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me."
During Sessions’ tenure as attorney general, Trump repeatedly and publicly attacked him for recusing himself from the Russia investigation. Last November, Trump fired Sessions. Trump replaced Sessions with Matthew Whitaker, a critic of Mueller’s probe, as acting attorney general until he nominated William Barr to the post.
Democrats have criticized Barr for acting as the equivalent as a personal lawyer for Trump. Barr held a press conference Thursday morning to interpret Mueller’s report, and he borrowed an oft-used Trumpism — “no collusion” — to describe its findings.
Cover image: U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during an event recognizing the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride in the East Room of the White House, April 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)