Fuming on Fox: Trump slams DOJ, Comey, Democrats, media in morning marathon

It was just like the old days, when Donald Trump would call into "Fox & Friends" and say whatever was on his mind.

His White House aides hate when he does such a fired-up, rambling and totally unscripted appearance. But with John Kelly's grip apparently loosening, it is Let-Trump-Be-Trump time and the president decided it was time to call one of his favorite shows.

On a morning when Ronny Jackson withdrew as his pick for the VA, in a week when his lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded the Fifth, Trump went on offense.

His supporters love this sort of thing. But at the very least, he created legal complications for himself.

Since Trump hasn't done one of these for a couple of months, the phoner created all kinds of news, instantly replayed on the other cable news channels.

And while Fox's morning show obviously takes a sympathetic approach to its longtime guest, Steve Doocy did press Trump more than once. When the president was attacking DOJ for not going after James Comey, Doocy interrupted to say: "It's your Justice Department, Mr. President ... You're in charge and you have a Republican running it."

And when Trump declared without evidence that Comey had leaked classified information "in order to try and get a special counsel," Doocy responded: "He says it wasn't classified, Mr. President." (One of the memos was classified only after the fired FBI director leaked it to the New York Times.)

Trump's most eye-opening remarks were about Cohen, since he has denied any involvement in the Stormy Daniels case or any knowledge that his lawyer paid her $130,000 to stay quiet at the end of the campaign.

The president said Cohen handles "a tiny, tiny little fraction" of his legal work: "Michael represents me on some things. He represents me like on this crazy Stormy Daniels deal. He represented me and from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong."

You don't have to listen to the pundits to believe that this was a significant admission by Trump. Within two hours, federal prosecutors filed documents citing the president's comments in justifying the FBI raid of Cohen's home and office.

Trump also held forth on his White House physician withdrawing from consideration to run the VA. "These are all false accusations that were made," he said. "These are false and they're trying to destroy a man."

But the president didn't go into the specific allegations, which were being examined (and in some cases leaked) by a Republican-controlled Senate committee. Instead, he mounted an attack on the Democrats for dragging out the confirmation process for one nominee after another.

In attacking the DOJ and its failure to prosecute Comey, among others, Trump said the department is one "I try to stay away from, but at some point, I won't. Our Justice Department should be looking at that kind of stuff, not the collusion with Russia." That was a not-so-subtle warning, amid all the speculation about Sessions and Rosenstein and Mueller, that he may not take a hands-off approach forever.

And Trump even talked about the recent positive tweets from Kanye West.

It's good that Trump is taking questions (and yes, I wish he did more interviews). They provide insight into his thinking and his temperament.

And the most fundamental takeaway right now: The president is ticked off at a whole lot of folks.

Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of "MediaBuzz" (Sundays 11 a.m.). He is the author "Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press and the War Over the Truth." Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.