Donald Trump: I haven’t discussed Russia probe with Matthew Whitaker

President Trump said Friday he hasn’t discussed the ongoing Russia investigation with new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and complained that special counsel Robert Mueller hadn’t undergone Senate confirmation — even though he doesn’t need to.

“I didn’t speak to Matt Whitaker about it,” Trump told a gaggle of reporters as he left the White House to fly to Paris. “I don’t know Matt Whitaker. Matt Whitaker has a great reputation and that’s what I wanted.”

The president noted that he could’ve hired someone “from the outside” to replace ousted AG Jeff Sessions — who announced his resignation Wednesday — but “I didn’t want to do that.”

“When Sessions left, what I did very simply is take a man who worked for Sessions,” Trump said. “He’s a highly respected man, especially by law enforcement, and I think he’s going to do a great job.”

Trump then tried to take a shot against Mueller for not being “Senate confirmed” — while also claiming that Whitaker, the former US attorney for Iowa, has been.

“A big complaint people have — Mueller was not Senate confirmed … why didn’t they get him confirmed?” the president wondered. “So he’s doing a report, he wasn’t Senate confirmed. Whitaker was Senate confirmed.”

He continued railing that Mueller “should have been Senate confirmed but because of all the conflicts, they didn’t want to bring him before the Senate.”

All 93 US attorneys — in the US, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands — are appointed by the president for four year terms. Their appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

Whitaker was appointed to the post by President George W. Bush in 2004 and later confirmed.

But as special counsel, Mueller didn’t require Senate confirmation.

Trump also verbally attacked a female reporter when she asked him if he wanted Whitaker to “rein in” Mueller.

“What a stupid question that is,” he snapped at the reporter, who was off camera. “What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot — you ask a lot of stupid questions.”

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