BY JOHN T. BENNETT
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Friday broke his uncharacteristic silence about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report, calling it “crazy” just 25 days after dubbing it “great.”
In a tweet from rainy Palm Beach, where he is spending a long Easter weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort and nearby golf club, the commander in chief also lashed out — without naming him — at former White House counsel Donald McGahn, who offered Mueller’s team some of the most damning testimony about Trump and his chaotic West Wing.
Trump wrote there are some statements “about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue.”
However, had any of the former Trump White House aides or associates who testified during the probe lied, those false statements could be punishable with jail time under federal law.
Trump targeted McGahn in one of his morning social media posts, telling his 59.8 million followers that he believes his former White House attorney fabricated documents to save himself.
“Watch out for people that take so-called ‘notes,’ when the notes never existed until needed,” the president wrote.
In one anecdote in Mueller’s report, the president angrily took umbrage with his White House counsel’s habit of taking notes during meetings.
“The President then asked, ‘What about these notes? Why do you take notes? Lawyers don’t take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes,’” Mueller wrote, citing McGahn’s testimony to the special counsel’s team. (McGahn talked to Mueller’s office for more than 30 hours, which alarmed White House officials.)
“McGahn responded that he keeps notes because he is a ‘real lawyer’ and explained that notes create a record and are not a bad thing,”
McGahn told Mueller, according to the report.
“The President said, ‘I’ve had a lot of great lawyers, like Roy Cohn. He did not take notes.’” (Cohn was Trump’s personal attorney and a mentor during the president’s early years as a businessman in New York.)
The Mueller report shines a light on Trump’s penchant for cursing when he is angry. He appeared upset Friday morning, a day after a top White House aide, Kellyanne Conway, contended that the Mueller report’s release was the “best day” of her boss’s presidency.
‘GREAT’ TO ‘BULLSHIT’
The president used a second tweet to explain that he and his legal team concluded “it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the “Report” about me” in verbal testimony with Mueller.
He then renewed his recent tendency of cursing in public when discussing the report, calling those undefined statements “total bullshit,” contending they were “only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad).”
Trump told reporters at the Capitol this on March 26: “The Mueller report was great. It could not have been better. It said no collusion, no obstruction. It could not be better.”
But on Friday morning, he was back to calling it “an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened.”
As Trump worked to discredit the report, some Democrats, like House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois, said the information Mueller and Justice Department officials redacted will provide “bombshells” when and if lawmakers ever see those black-out sections.
“If the president was willing to do at least 10 instances of obstruction, how far will he go in terms of being compromised by other foreign governments?” Quigley told CNN Friday morning. “The president of the United States, I think, obstructed justice.”