President Donald Trump tossed out bizarre boasts about himself to attack former special counsel Robert Mueller and his Democratic rivals.
Appearing alongside outgoing Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who announced his resignation Friday, the president took questions from reporters on the White House lawn, where he complained bitterly about the Mueller investigation.
“How many bites of the apple do you get?” Trump complained. “We’ve gone through 500 witnesses, 2,500 subpoenas, I’ve let them interview my lawyers, because I had nothing to do with Russia. Now that’s come out — there was no collusion. But how many people and how many times, and this has been going on for two-and-a-half years. Rush Limbaugh has said that there is nobody else he knows who could have taken it. On top of taking it, I’ve been a great president.”
Trump bragged that he’d accomplished more in his term already than any other president in history, and then lobbed insults against his Democratic challengers and bragged of his relationship with the leader of North Korea.
“China and Russia and, try, North Korea, where I have a relationship,” he said. “You don’t have them testing nuclear anymore. Wait, wait. You have a man that was so happy to see me. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. You have a man that doesn’t smile a lot, but when he saw me, he smiled, he was happy. You have a man, when I came into office, all he was doing before, under Obama, was testing nuclear weapons and blowing up mountains, and now he’s not doing it.
He then veered into another extended attack on Mueller’s investigation, insisting that the special counsel found no evidence of coordination with Russia or obstruction of justice, and then defended the embattled Acosta.
“The Democrats aren’t working, all they’re doing is trying to hurt people like Alex Acosta,” Trump said. “The man who has done — a man who — I have no idea. Are you a Democrat? I have no idea. You know what I know about Alex? He was a great student at Harvard. He is Hispanic, which I so admired because maybe it was a little tougher for him, maybe not. But he did an unbelievable job as the secretary of labor. That’s what I know about him. I know one thing. He did a great job, and until this came up, there was never an ounce of problems with this very good man.”
Israel’s election outcome remains unclear — but the ‘ultimate loser’ will be Palestinians
Israel is facing political turmoil as Tuesday’s election remains too close to call. With 92% of the vote counted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and ex-military chief Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party appear to be nearly tied. Both leading candidates aiming to be prime minister had run on platforms vowing to take harsh measures targeting Palestinians. Netanyahu promised to annex nearly a third of the occupied West Bank, in violation of international law, if he won re-election. Earlier this year, Gantz had threatened to bomb Gaza back to the “Stone Ages.” On Tuesday night, Gantz said he had fulfilled his mission by preventing Netanyahu’s outright re-election, while Netanyahu did not claim victory or concede defeat in a speech to supporters. From Jerusalem, we speak with Palestinian attorney Diana Buttu about the significance of the snap election. “It’s not clear who will be the ultimate victor,” Buttu says. “I can tell you who will be the ultimate loser, and that’s the Palestinian people.”
‘Just like Brett Kavanaugh’: GOP candidate who pleaded guilty to sexual battery claims he was the real victim
A GOP congressional candidate in Utah is comparing himself to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — favorably — to explain away his guilty plea to two counts of sexual battery, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Cory Green, an Army Reserve and Navy veteran and private security officer running for Utah's 1st Congressional District, was charged with forcible sexual abuse in 2010 after he allegedly brought two teenage masseuses to a Motel 6, performed a sex act with an escort in front of them, and then paid one of the teenage girls for sex. He insists that the girl lied about her age and that his victim extorted him.
Trump orders ‘substantial increase’ in Iran sanctions over Saudi oil field attack
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "substantially increase sanctions" imposed on Iran, amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran.
He did not give details on the move, which follows weekend attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia that some U.S. officials blamed on Iran. Iran has denied those allegations.
Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group claimed responsibility for the strikes on a Saudi oil field and the world's largest crude processing plant. The attacks disrupted global oil supplies.
Saudi Arabia has said oil production would be fully recovered by the end of the month.