Preet Bharara has become a staple of the contemporary political commentariat in the age of President Donald Trump, so it can easily be forgotten that he’s not just a typical pundit — he was also at the center of one of the key controversies early in the administration, one that reverberates to this day.
That’s because Bharara, then the U.S. attorney heading up the Southern District of New York, was initially asked to stay on in his role during Trump’s transition. The president then later asked for Bharara’s resignation, which he refused to give. Trump then fired him in dramatic fashion.
This has become even more significant over the last few years because the federal prosecutors out of SDNY are known to be investigating the president — and they have even implicated Trump in a campaign finance crime, for which his former attorney Michael Cohen has already pleaded guilty. It seems plausible that Trump feared the kind of investigations that might come out of SDNY, and he wanted to have an ally lead the office. And according to a new interview Bharara gave Tuesday to Ari Melber on MSNBC, Trump was already behaving inappropriately early on in his term.
So inappropriately, he revealed for the first time on Tuesday, that he and others in his office considered recording a phone conversation with Trump.
“I wanted to make sure, because I had a certain amount of mistrust, it was an odd phone call to be making,” he explained. “It would be my word against his, if he decided to say something inappropriate, which I didn’t necessarily know was going to happen.”
He noted that past reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has likewise considered recording conversations with the president seemed plausible to him.
“When you’re used to seeing someone, you know, tell untruths about what happens in a conversation, and you care about your own integrity — I don’t want anybody to say, ‘You had some side conversation with the president of the United States.’ So we didn’t do that, ultimately — we thought it was a bridge too far,” he said. “We talked about it for five minutes.”
But he noted that just the president’s desire, on its own, to want to talk to him as a sitting U.S. attorney, was “odd and inappropriate.”
Watch the clip below:
NEW: Former U.S. Attorney @PreetBharara tells @AriMelber he believes Deputy AG Rosenstein "was not joking" when he reportedly spoke about taping Trump because he himself "considered… taping the President" pic.twitter.com/REIIL77zbz
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) March 19, 2019ADVERTISEMENT
Republicans are ‘too cowardly’ to stand up for the morals they claim to have: Conservative columnist
Conservative Washington Post writer Max Boot called out Republicans for being more than willing to compromise their moral and "family" values for President Donald Trump.
In a Wednesday column, Boot said that GOP "scruples have eroded faster than the polar ice cap." There's the matter of the "Access Hollywood" tape, the race-baiting, xenophobia and now there's the matter of Jeffrey Epstein. But it was just four lone members who were willing to denounce Trump's order to four Congresswomen of color to go back to the country they came from.
Trump thinks impeachment is over after House vote
Following a vote by the Democratic House to table an effort by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, the president gloatingly told reporters "that's the end of it," and mocked the resolution as a "ridiculous project."
"The House of Representatives rejecting a bid to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump, and President Trump declaring victory," reported CNN's Erin Burnett. "Telling reporters seconds ago 'We've just received an overwhelming vote against impeachment, and that's the end of it.' He went on to call it the 'most ridiculous project.' Riding high now over how the whole saga over his racist tweets is playing out."
This explains why Trump picked a fight with the four Congresswomen of color: analysis
On one hand, President Donald Trump almost certainly chose to mark out Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) because of his own deep-seated racism.
But there is likely another reason he is doing it, wrote Aaron Blake of the Washington Post's "The Fix" on Wednesday: because his core voters hate them as much as he does.
Blake cited a new The Economist/YouGov poll of 2016 Trump voters' opinions on several politicians. "As you peruse it, it becomes clear that the conventional wisdom about why Trump picked these targets is right: They were ripe for motivating the GOP base ... All of them are better known among Republicans than Democrats, which suggests that a steady stream of coverage in conservative media has elevated them as potential Democratic bogeywomen. Trump is tilling fertile soil. And in fact, they might already be his most effective foils."