In a wide-ranging Oval Office interview with the New York Times, President Donald Trump repeatedly said he would not have nominated Jeff Sessions as Attorney General if he would have known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation and threatened that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller looking into his and his family’s finances would cross a “red line.”
Trump also appeared to allege that then-FBI Director James Comey sought to blackmail him.
“In my opinion, he shared [the British spy dossier] so that I would think he had it out there,” Mr. Trump told The Times.
“As leverage?” reporters Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman asked.
“Yeah, I think so,” Mr. Trump said. “In retrospect.”
The extended excerpts of the interview contain more allegations against Comey.
Trump also denied Comey’s sworn testimony about the one-on-one meeting when Comey claimed the President cleared the room.
“Look, you look at his testimony,” Trump suggested. “His testimony is loaded up with lies, O.K.?”
Trump further claimed Comey, “illegally leaked” and had a “conflict of interest.”
Twitter has been shocked by the admissions and accusations in Trump’s interview.
Listen to President Donald Trump on Attorney General Jeff Sessions: