President Trump has been celebrating the findings of Robert Mueller’s report, but he wasn’t quite as positive when the special counsel was first appointed.
According to Mueller’s report, which was released to the public on Thursday morning, Trump said his presidency was finished, going so far as to state he was “f---ed”, after being told of Mueller’s appointment by then-attorney general Jeff Sessions.
“According to notes written by (Sessions' chief of staff Jody) Hunt, when Sessions told the President that a Special Counsel had been appointed, the President slumped back in his chair, and said, ‘Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I'm f……’,” the report reads.
“The President became angry and lambasted the Attorney General for his decision to recuse from the investigation, stating, ‘How could you let this happen, Jeff?’
“The President said the position of Attorney General was his most important appointment and that Sessions had ‘let (him) down,’ contrasting him with Eric Holder and Robert Kennedy. Sessions recalled that the President said to him, ‘you were supposed to protect me,’ or words to that effect.
The report continued: “The president returned to the consequences of the appointment and said, ‘Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won't be able to do anything. This is the worse thing that ever happened to me.’”
The version of Mueller’s 448-page report that the Justice Department made public Thursday includes redactions, consistent with Attorney General Bill Barr’s plan to black out portions of the document—including grand jury material, information the intelligence community believes would reveal intelligence sources and methods, any material that could interfere with ongoing prosecutions and information that could implicate the privacy or reputational interests of “peripheral players.”
Democrats, for weeks, demanded to see the full, unredacted report, and blasted Barr for resisting their requests.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., has already vowed to move “very quickly” to issue subpoenas for the full report should he and his colleagues not be satisfied with the amount of, and basis for, redactions.
The partisan warfare that has marked the probe from the start extended into the report’s release day, with Barr coming under fire from Democrats for his decision to hold a press conference in advance of the release. Barr already had come under fire from Democrats after he issued a four-page summary of the special counsel report, in which he stated there was no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Jake Gibson, Catherine Herridge and Bill Mears contributed to this report.