President Donald Trump delivered an extensive denunciation of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation during a highly unusual appearance in the White House Rose Garden Wednesday.
“This whole thing was a take-down attempt of the president of the United States,” Trump said, blasting Democrats for continuing to investigate him and slamming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comment earlier that he was “engaged in a cover-up.”
“I don’t do cover-ups,” the president said.
Trump spoke at a lectern with a sign in front of it that read “no collusion,” “no obstruction” and cited a $35 million cost of the probe. The probe cost roughly $25 million, according to the Department of Justice.
Trump said that he respects Congress, but said Democrats are abusing its power.
“I respect the courts, I respect Congress, but what they’ve done is abuse. This is investigation number four on the same thing,” he said.
Trump said he had intended to sit down with Democratic leaders, including Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, about infrastructure, but cut the planned White House meeting short.
“I walked into the room and I told Senator Schumer and House Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure, I want to do more than you want to do it,’” Trump said. “‘But, you know what? You can’t do it under these conditions.'”
Two Democratic sources with knowledge of the meeting told NBC News that Trump arrived late and expressed dismay at Pelosi’s comments, calling the remarks inconsiderate. Trump then said, according to the sources, Democrats would need to complete their various investigations before a deal on infrastructure or any other topic would be considered.
“I knew the president was not serious about infrastructure and would find a way out,” Pelosi quipped as the president stormed out, according to a Democratic aide.