UPDATE: The NY Times Published transcribed excerpts of the interview with President Trump, they appear at the bottom of the post.
Perhaps the most shocking part of President Trump’s interview with the NY Times is that he gave them the interview at all. The NY Times is one of the vehicles the President calls “fake news.” A close second to the fact that he spoke to what he calls “The Failing NY Times” is the POTUS’ comment about Jeff Sessions. Trump told the paper that he’d never have appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation. The president said sessions decision was “very unfair to the president”–it has slowed down his agenda.
Mr. Trump also faulted Mr. Sessions for his testimony during Senate confirmation hearings when Mr. Sessions said he had not met with any Russians even though he had met at least twice with Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak. “Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers,” the president said. “He gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren’t.”
(…) Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.
President Trump also went after former FBI director Comey, claiming the former lawman tried to leverage a dossier of compromising material to keep his job. Which means Comey learned a lot from J. Edgar Hoover.
The president brought up Mueller’s office which he claimed loaded with people who had conflicts of Interests.
Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said, “I would say yes.” He would not say what he would do about it. “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.”
While the interview touched on an array of issues, including health care, foreign affairs and politics, the investigation dominated the conversation. He said that as far as he knew, he was not under investigation himself…“I don’t think we’re under investigation,” he said. “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong.”
The president also talked about what the media implied was a “secret” second meeting with Vladimir Putin during the G20 meetings. That supposedly “secret meeting” was held at a dinner attended by the President and First Lady, along with at least nineteen other couples and twenty translators. Couples were split up, and Mr. Trump sat next to Putin. The president went around the room to “schmooze” and spent sometime with Putin. Accordingly the media is freaking that he relied on a Russian translator to talk to Putin (the translator brought by the first couple was proficient in Japanese (each country was allowed to bring only one) as the POTUS was sitting near the Japanese Prime Minister and his wife.
Describing the conversation he had with Putin:
Mr. Trump said they talked for about 15 minutes, mostly about “pleasantries.” But Mr. Trump did say that they talked “about adoptions.” Mr. Putin banned American adoptions of Russian children in 2012 after the United States enacted sanctions on Russians accused of human rights abuses, an issue that remains a sore point in relations with Moscow.
Mr. Trump acknowledged that it was “interesting” that adoptions came up since his son, Donald Trump Jr., said that was the topic of a meeting he had with several Russians with ties to the Kremlin during last year’s campaign. Even though emails show that the session had been set up to pass along incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, the president said he did not need such material from Russia about Mrs. Clinton last year because he already had more than enough.
Heck, he did have all the opposition research necessary, all he really needed was a copy of Peter Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash…