“I’m Fucked”: Trump’s Reaction When He Learned of the Special Counsel Investigation

Donald Trump thought Robert Mueller’s probe would end his presidency.

President Donald Trump speaks to media before boarding Air Force One on March 24, 2019, in West Palm Beach, Florida. Carolyn Kaster/AP

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When President Donald Trump learned that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 elections nearly two years ago, he predicted that the probe would end his presidency. “I’m fucked,” he said.

This account comes from Mueller’s redacted report, released Thursday, under a section providing evidence for one way Trump may have attempted to obstruct justice: trying to remove the special counsel to thwart the investigation.

On May 17, 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions personally broke the news to Trump that Sessions’ deputy, Rod Rosenstein, had appointed a special counsel to take over the investigation into Russian interference in the election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. According to notes from Sessions’ then-chief of staff, Jody Hunt, Trump slumped in his chair and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.”

“You were supposed to protect me,” Trump told Sessions, lambasting him for recusing himself from the probe and letting Rosenstein make the appointment.

“Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,” Trump then said. “It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”


Listen to our DC bureau chief David Corn discuss Mueller’s findings on this special breaking news edition of the Mother Jones Podcast:

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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.

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