EVANSVILLE, INDIANA —U.S. President Donald Trump, at political rally in the Midwestern state of Indiana, again directed his ire at the country’s top national law enforcement officials.
“Our Justice Department and our FBI have to start doing their job, doing it right and doing it well,” Trump said Thursday evening. “People are angry.”
“What’s happening is a disgrace,” declared the president.
“I wanted to stay out, but at some point if it doesn’t straighten out properly … I will get involved and I’ll get in there if I have to,” Trump added.
Earlier in the day at the White House, the president referred to the special counsel’s probe into whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russians as an “illegal investigation.”
Speaking to the Bloomberg news agency, Trump said the job of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself from oversight of the investigation, is safe until, at least, the November midterm election.
“I just would love to have him do a great job,” Trump said during the Oval Office interview, adding that he would “love to have him look at the other side,” reiterating calls for the Justice Department to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the origins of the Russia probe.
“I do question what is Jeff doing,” he added.
The president has repeatedly ridiculed Sessions, the top U.S. law enforcement officer, as “weak” for not pursuing what the president and many other Republicans perceive as anti-Trump bias in the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
FBI refuted Trump claim
The FBI, on Wednesday, refuted the claim Trump made without citing evidence that the e-mails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom he defeated in the 2016 election, had her e-mails hacked by China.
Trump, earlier Wednesday had said federal law enforcement risked losing credibility if it did not further investigate the matter.
“Look at what she’s getting away with?” Trump said about Clinton at the Indiana rally, prompting the crowd in the 11,000-seat Ford Center to briefly chant “lock her up.”
Trump has repeatedly called the investigation, headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is a former FBI director, a politically motivated witch hunt.
The president repeatedly asserts there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia.
Six convictions, 12 indictments
Mueller’s investigation has so far resulted in six people being convicted of crimes. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, on August 21 was the first person to be convicted in a jury trial from the probe, which also returned indictments in July against 12 Russian intelligence officers in the computer hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
On Twitter earlier in the day Trump denied referenced reports he has tried to have Sessions and Mueller removed from their positions.
Discussing his soon-to-depart White House Counsel, Donald McGahn, the president tweeted: “I liked Don, but he was NOT responsible for me not firing Bob Mueller or Jeff Sessions. So much Fake Reporting and Fake News!”
During the evening’s rally in Evansville, Trump again targeted journalists for harsh criticism, accusing them of being in alliance with those who oppose him politically, including “deep state radicals.”
Steve Herman is VOA’s White House Bureau Chief.