White House: Trump Not Guilty of Obstruction, He’s Just “Fighting Back”

“The president is stating his opinion, he’s stating it clearly.”

Michael Brochstein/ZUMA

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed mounting concern that President Donald Trump is attempting to obstruct justice with his direct appeal earlier on Wednesday for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference. 

“The president is not obstructing, he’s fighting back,” Sanders said during an afternoon press briefing filled with questions over a series of morning tweets by the president that marked the first time he has publicly called on Sessions to reclaim oversight of the investigation and get rid of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Echoing the president’s legal team, Sanders repeatedly sought to downplay the tweets as mere “opinions”—not official presidential orders.

“The president is stating his opinion, he’s stating it clearly,” Sanders said. “He’s certainly expressing the frustration that he has with the level of corruption that we’ve seen from people like Jim Comey, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe.” 

Democrats on Wednesday seized upon Trump’s latest Twitter outburst, calling it a clear example of his attempt to intervene in the special counsel’s ongoing investigation. The New York Times reported last week that Mueller is paying close attention to Trump’s Twitter account in order to determine whether his social media activities classify as efforts to apply pressure to potential witnesses and law enforcement officials.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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