Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jake Tapper talks about Trump wanting Sessions not to recuse himself from Russia. 3 GOP Senators talk anonymously.

CNN’s Jake Tapper lead his Thursday show with a list of Republican senators who were aghast at the comments President Donald Trump made to the New York Times about Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Tapper called the comments an “unprecedented rhetorical attack on our nation’s chief law enforcement officers” by Trump. He cited Sessions comment that he would continue to stay in his position for as long as it is “appropriate.”
“But what is appropriate in a world where the president says, he wouldn’t have hired you if he’d known you’d do what most people agreed was the right and ethical thing?” Tapper wondered.
Tapper cited three U.S. Senators, who were deeply disturbed with the comments from the president. Many of Trump’s loyalists are revealing that they too are “deeply alarmed.”
“I’m very disturbed that the president would throw Jeff Sessions under the bus. I think sessions did the right thing ethically and the right thing legally … To undermine the Attorney General is very bad form for the president,” one Senator told CNN. “One gets the impression that the president doesn’t understand or he willfully disregards the fact that the Attorney General and law enforcement in general — they are not his personal lawyers to defend and protect him. He has his own personal lawyers and of course the White House Counsel’s office. The Attorney General is America’s top law enforcement official — it’s unclear if he understands that.”
Tapper called the comments “disturbing” coming from a member of the president’s own party.
“I know Jeff Sessions to be a person of real integrity, which is why he recused himself,” a second senator told Tapper anonymously. “I don’t think it’s good for any president of the United States to undermine the federal judiciary.”
“If you’re Jeff Sessions, it’s got to be tough to come to work the next day,” a third senator told Tapper.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only one willing to go on the record about the president’s comments.
“It would be catastrophic if the president were to fire the special counsel,” she said.
The first senator Tapper cited went on to call Trump’s actions “not smart.”
“You’ve got a special counsel, let the individual do his work,” the second senator said. “Don’t comment, don’t interfere, just let the special counsel do his job.”
Tapper then spoke directly to Trump, saying that these are members of his own party telling him these things. To make matters worse, some of the senators are even supporters of Trump’s, according to Tapper.
“All of whom want you to succeed. And their message to you on this issue is cut it out,” Tapper closed.
CNN’s Sarah Murray cited other senators who said that they’re wondering if Trump isn’t loyal to Sessions who he will be loyal to.
Watch below:

My Daughter was shot and killed and I was ordered to pay the Killer's gun dealer.

At 24 years old, my daughter, Jessi, was sparky, beautiful, and ambitious, with red hair that mirrored her fiery spirit. In summer 2012, she was finishing her final year of college in Colorado and looking forward to pursuing a career as a sports journalist. On the night before she had an interview for a dream job, she went with her close friend Brent to a midnight movie.
I was up late that night, unable to sleep, and texted her just to say hi. I was set to travel from our home in Texas the following week to help her furnish a new apartment.
“I can’t wait for you to come visit,” Jessi pinged back. “I need my mama.”
Less than an hour later, Brent called me from inside the theater in Aurora where they’d gone to see the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. “There’s been a shooting,” he said, breathless. I could hear people screaming in the background. 
“What are you telling me?” I asked. “Are you okay?”
“I’ve been hit. Twice, I think.”
“Where’s Jessi?” My heart was racing.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
When the gunfire had erupted inside the theater, Jessi and Brent leapt out of their chairs to flee. Jessi got shot in the leg. “I’ve been hit!” she yelled as she fell. “Someone call 911!” The bullets kept coming—bullets with the power and velocity to penetrate walls and seats, bodies and bones. She was hit five more times, including in her head. Brent stayed by her side. He got hit as well, with one bullet just missing his spleen. Jessi was one of 12 who died. Brent was among the 70 others who were wounded or injured in the attack.

I can’t remember the moments right after I realized Jessi was gone. My husband, Lonnie, later told me that he awoke to the sound of my screams and caught me as I crumpled to the floor. I recall little else from that night, except that my son, who is a paramedic, rushed over to the house and gave me some pills so I could calm down and eventually rest.
In the fog of those first few days, I was too distraught to really sleep, bathe, or think. We learned that two police officers had driven Jessi to the hospital after she was shot, with one holding her in the backseat. She was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. I felt a sense of relief that she didn’t die alone on the theater floor. I also remember feeling that I would never know happiness again. At one point, a friend suggested that it might be good to take a shower. Apparently I headed to the bathroom. As Lonnie tells it, he soon heard guttural howling. He rushed into the shower fully clothed and embraced me.
Less than two months earlier, Jessi had narrowly missed another shooting, at a mall in Toronto. Just a couple minutes after she and her boyfriend left the food court, a gunman opened fire, killing two people and wounding several others. I was working in the garden when Jessi called, her voice shaking. I reassured her. She went home and wrote on her blog, “Every second of every day is a gift.”

Jessi loved hockey; her green scarf accompanies Sandy on all trips to lobby lawmakers

It was five years ago today that Jessi was killed. On that day, I entered an inescapable nightmare. A fire also began to burn inside of me. The following morning, I told Lonnie, “We need to get involved.” He knew exactly what I meant. We knew that we needed to try to save other families from this unthinkable pain. What followed was a tumultuous journey we never could have anticipated. We were thrust into the media spotlight and the world of activism against gun violence. We came face to face with powerful political leaders, including President Obama. We spent four grueling months in a Denver courtroom, bearing witness to the trial of Jessi’s killer. This spring, we traveled to Congress to testify against President Donald Trump’s ardently pro-gun Supreme Court pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch. 
There was one experience that showed us, more than any other, how warped America’s relationship with gun violence is. It came when we decided to sue the dealer that armed our daughter’s killer. The gunman bought more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition before his shooting spree—no background check, no questions asked. But a judge dismissed our case. Gun dealers are shielded by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a controversial law that protects them from liability when crimes are committed with their products.
Worse, in accordance with the law, the judge ordered us to pay more than $200,000 in legal fees to the defendants. In part because of that ruling, Lonnie and I were forced this year to file for bankruptcy.
There are so many thoughts that haunt you when the worst happens. For weeks I thought about how Jessi almost ended up in an adjacent sold-out theater where no one was killed. I dwelled on the strangeness of the near-miss at the Toronto mall. I remembered how Jessi never liked the sound of fireworks; she thought they sounded like gunfire. I hated the fact that gunshots were the last sounds she heard.
Five months after Jessi’s funeral in Texas, which drew nearly 2,000 friends and supporters, Lonnie and I headed to Colorado to pick up Jessi’s diploma and speak at her university. We managed to joke that of course she would get her degree without having to take any final exams. As we boarded the plane, we heard about the breaking news: A gunman had attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. By the time we landed in Colorado, people were checking their phones, talking in hushed, stunned voices about 20 dead children. Lonnie and I were sitting near the back of the plane. I lost it. “Shut up! Stop talking about it!” I screamed. Lonnie tried to console me.

In Colorado, we met with leaders from a major gun violence prevention group, now known as Everytown for Gun Safety. They invited us to New York City to speak at a press conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. We met other survivors, each with their own devastating story. Then the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence invited us to a meeting at the Obama White House with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. We had already battled to try to get the Cinemark theater in Aurora to create a memorial in honor of the lives lost—the theater refused—but now we were entering a much broader arena.
My husband and I respect the Second Amendment. We are longtime gun owners, who for 30 years made our home in Texas. We have no interest in taking away everyone’s guns, as the National Rifle Association and other fearmongers like to claim. However, we believe our nation’s laws can be vastly improved to save lives. Like most Americans, we want to see background checks on all gun sales. We want to see loopholes closed. We want to see limits on the type of gun and the amount of ammunition that can be sold to an individual.
We traveled on to Newtown to try to help. At a gathering for the survivors and their families, we held people’s hands. We knew they would not remember us in their state of shock, but we wanted them to know that they were not alone, that it was possible to survive unimaginable grief. They were now part of the same awful family that no one wants to belong to.

Jessi at her brother’s 3rd birthday party

In spring 2013, now working with the Brady Campaign, Lonnie and I met President Obama at a roundtable event with law enforcement officials and community leaders in Denver. He gave us both a hug, then sat down next to me at the table. Turning to me, he said, “First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. I realize that what happened to your daughter could have happened to one of mine.” Then he asked me why I thought Americans were so bitterly divided over gun politics. I was taken aback. “Mr. President, I think you would know the answer to that better than me,” I managed to quip. That lightened up the mood a little; a few people chuckled. I said that Americans were working hard, putting in long hours, then coming home, feeding their families, and falling into bed. They didn’t have much time for politics. They were just trying to make ends meet. 
Working for the Brady Campaign became a flurry of media appearances and meetings with politicians, police, and survivors. The Brady leadership also encouraged Lonnie and me to sue Lucky Gunner, the dealer that sold the stockpile of ammo to Jessi’s killer. We agreed that dealers should have to take some responsibility. Shouldn’t they have to vet a buyer of military-grade weaponry? Or a buyer of bullets en masse? The primary goal of our lawsuit was to make the gun dealer change its business practices—at a minimum, to ask for proof of identity and do a background check. 
The case would go on for three months, yet we never met the judge and never saw a courtroom. When the judge dismissed the suit, he said, “It is apparent that this case was filed to pursue the political purposes of the Brady Center.” In my opinion, the law that protects the gun dealers also bars people like us from our constitutional right to be heard. 
Lonnie and I knew we had to be there when the trial for Jessi’s killer began in Denver in spring 2015. We needed to face him. But you will not hear me say his name. When a mass shooting occurs, the news media go overboard devoting attention to the killer’s past, his family, his manifesto. It’s what the killer wants. And research has shown that it helps inspire the next killer to seek similar fame.
Money was tight and we knew the trial would be long. We decided to sell our home and most of what we owned, and we bought a travel camper. We would drive it up from Texas and live in it while attending the trial and then use it to continue around the country, advocating for change.

During the trial, Lonnie and I finally gathered the courage to look at Jessi’s autopsy report. We agreed that we would not look at the pictures but would read the words. I needed to be able to speak the truth of what happened to her in that theater. 
She was hit by a total of six bullets. In addition to the leg wound, she was shot three times in the abdomen. Another round struck her in the shoulder, shattering her clavicle. The bullet that entered through Jessi’s eye left a five-inch hole in the back of her head, blowing her brains onto the theater seats, floor, and people around her.
After the killer was sentenced to life in prison without parole, Lonnie and I continued on the road, scraping by. Sometimes friends would let us stay with them for a spell, or a church or group would raise funds for us. We have met victims of mass shootings all over the country, including in Charleston, South Carolina; San Bernardino, California; and Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were massacred at the Pulse nightclub—the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. We have become close friends with the family of Alison Parker, the young television news reporter who was gunned down live on the air along with a colleague while broadcasting in Roanoke, Virginia.
On the night of the presidential election last November, we were invited to what was supposed to be a big victory party for Hillary Clinton in New York City. We watched in dismay as the election results came in. Donald Trump had bragged that he could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and people would still love him. He’d suggested that guns should be allowed in nightclubs like Pulse, so that people could shoot back if someone started firing. He’d insinuated during the campaign that Clinton herself might be shot if she dispensed with her armed security detail. With Trump’s election, we knew our battle for gun safety would only grow in difficulty and importance.
Trump is a demonstrated fan of Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who suggests to millions of listeners that mass shootings are orchestrated by the government to promote gun control. He and other self-styled “truthers” harass the families of victims, also spinning insane theories that mass shootings such as Sandy Hook are fake, that the victims were played by actors. 

Truthers—or “hoaxers,” as they should be called—have defamed my daughter on blog after blog, saying she is a liar and a fraud. They claim Jessi is alive, secretly living it up on an exotic island somewhere. One time in San Antonio, at an event for the advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Jones accosted Lonnie and me, accusing us of working for the government. Jones had just come from an “open carry” gun rally across town, where he’d worn an assault rifle strapped across his back. Video of the encounter shows how he tried to physically menace Lonnie, poking a finger at his chest and suggesting that he didn’t want to “beat an old guy up.”
Later, Jones posted the video on his InfoWars site and called us “idiots.”
It’s the little things you miss the most. I’ll see a mother and daughter in a restaurant, or taking a trip together at the airport, and then it floods me. I miss Jessi’s sass, the flash in her eye. I miss her texting me pictures of her trying on clothes, asking me what I think of this outfit or that. I miss her telling me, “I just had my hair cut. What do you think?” I miss the way she laughed—she was not a giggler, she was a belly laugher. She would throw her head back and a burst of pure joy would come out. 
People say many things to try to help with the grief. A scientist once told me, “All we are is energy. Energy never dies. It continues on. It just changes form.” I like to think of Jessi that way sometimes. Recently, a young medical student approached me after a film event. She said, “When you carry a child, the DNA flows back and forth in the fluids between mother and child. Jessi will always physically be a part of you.” I found solace in that, too.

Jessi at 22, on a girls’ night out for Sandy’s 60th birthday

Today, after nearly five years of activism, Lonnie and I continue to struggle. We filed for Chapter 11 protection in January because we could not afford to pay the legal fees for Lucky Gunner.
But even if we could afford the gun dealer’s legal fees, we would never pay. 
Nor will we stop our fight for change. We are among the vast majority of Americans who believe that we must take sensible steps to prevent massacres like the one that took my daughter’s life. We will continue to speak up. We will not go away.
All photos courtesy of the Phillips family.

Morning Joe talks about Why Trump is talking crazy: TRUMP IS SCARED!

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said the president seems to be terrified that his connections to Russia will soon be unraveled — and will provoke a constitutional crisis to keep them from being exposed.
President Donald Trump gave a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, where he complained about Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself from the Russia probe and warned special counsel Robert Mueller not to delve into his family’s finances.
“Maybe we’re overanalyzing this too much,” Scarborough said. “Maybe this is not about Donald Trump being anything other than scared, because he knows what’s in his background.”
The “Morning Joe” host said that would explain why Trump praises Russia, its president and its military while criticizing American leaders and troops.
“We’re just making this a little more complicated than it needs to be,” Scarborough said. “Donald Trump is scared. He is scared to death that somebody is going to pull on that thread and everything is going to unravel.”
He said fear of exposure explains the president’s decisions to fire FBI director James Comey and attack Mueller and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein — who took over the Justice Department’s investigation after Sessions recused himself over his secret meetings with Russian officials.
“Maybe he’s just scared to death that years and years of shortcuts are going to catch up with him,” Scarborough said.

Rachel Maddow: What would Russia want if they had the power to have power over Trump?

Trump at odds with his national security team over pro-Russia moves

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Donald Trump is scrapping “the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad.” As luck would have it, that’s precisely what Vladimir Putin’s Russian government wanted the American president to do.


What would Russia want from a pliant US leader?

Rachel Maddow updates the show’s running list of what Russia would likely want to get out of a pliant U.S. leader, including weaker election security and cyber policy.
This wasn’t an isolated development. As we discussed last week, Trump has also tried to weaken sanctions, isolated the United States diplomatically, fractured Western alliances, diminished the influence of the State Department (which is now led by Putin’s closest American ally), and largely ignored Russia’s attack on the U.S. elections – all of which serve Moscow’s strategic goals. As Rachel noted on Tuesday’s show, the list of actions in D.C. that Putin is certain to like keeps growing.
It’s against this backdrop that the Associated Press reports that some officials close to the U.S. president have noticed the recent pattern, and they’re not pleased.
President Donald Trump’s persistent overtures toward Russia are placing him increasingly at odds with his national security and foreign policy advisers, who have long urged a more cautious approach to dealing with the foreign adversary.
The uneasy dynamic between the president and top aides has been exacerbated by the revelation this week of an extended dinner conversation between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the recent summit in Germany. The previously undisclosed conversation, which occurred a few hours after their official bilateral meeting, raised red flags with advisers already concerned by the president’s tendency to shun protocol and press ahead with outreach toward Russia, according to two U.S. officials and three top foreign officials.
The AP article added that American diplomats and intelligence officials are “dumbfounded” by the president’s approach, and that White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is among those urging Trump not to trust the Russian autocrat.
The divisions within the White House are important at face value, but reports like these also shed light on how Trump World is operating. Given that Trump is America’s first amateur president, with no background in or experience with international affairs, it’s tempting to assume he’d be eager to follow the advice of his national security and foreign policy advisers.
And yet, when it comes to Russia, Trump ignores their counsel. I’d love to hear more about why this is.

Trump's kids fed him to the wolves with the NY Times Interview?

Donald Trump’s interview with the New York Times may go down in history as the most self defeating moment in U.S. presidential politics. He ruined his relationship with an Attorney General who had been covering for him. He revealed that he’s even more worried about his financial crimes than he is about his Russia crimes. Trump just buried himself. And I’m pretty sure it’s his kids who purposely handed him the shovel, for reasons I’ll explain here.
With the dire scandalous circumstances that Donald Trump now finds himself facing, and his clearly deteriorating mental capacity, his White House advisers would never have signed off on him doing an interview with a non-friendly news outlet at this time. They’re incompetent, but nobody’s that incompetent. And it wouldn’t have occurred to Trump to have made this decision on his own, because he hates the New York Times. Someone steered him toward doing this interview, knowing it would help unravel him. And all we need to look at is what else hit the newswires that same day.
Donald Trump Jr. had his friend feed People Magazine a quote about how “miserable” he is, and how he can’t wait for his father’s presidency to be over with (link). This was a clear attempt on Junior’s part to send a signal to his father that he should resign. He was basically saying ‘Hey dad, you’re ruining my life with this political stuff, please just walk away from the whole thing instead.’ It’s difficult to imagine that a lackey like Junior would have pulled a public stunt like this without his sister Ivanka signing off on it, and her husband is in even more legal trouble than her brother is.
So it’s clear that Donald Trump’s children now want him to resign. The reasoning isn’t too difficult to decipher. If Trump remains in office until he’s impeached or removed by the 25th Amendment, he won’t get a chance to pardon anyone on his way out the door. But if Trump resigns instead, his kids can talk him into pardoning himself and all of them. He’ll just announce that they’re all innocent and it’s to protect them from the “fake news media hoax.” There’s no expert consensus on whether Trump’s pardons of himself or his children or his criminal co-conspirators would hold up constitutionally, because no one’s ever tried it. The Supreme Court might have to rule on the validity.
For those worried that Trump might get away with his crimes if he resigns, the president cannot pardon anyone from state level charges. New York State is licking its chops waiting until Trump is out of office so it can charge him with a myriad of financial crimes it’s already knee deep investigating. One way or another, Trump will end up facing charges in New York once he’s out of office. But there’s no publicly available evidence that New York State is looking to charge his children.
So if Trump resigns and pardons his kids on federal charges, he’ll still go down on state charges, but his kids may end up walking on everything. And that’s their real motivation for having talked him into doing this self destructive New York Times interview. It’ll damage him further, giving his kids an excuse to start talking him into resigning. And at this point he’s become so addle brained that in the end he’ll probably end up doing whatever they tell him. All they have to do is not mention to him that he’ll still go down for state level crimes. After all, he raised them to be as selfish and parasitic as he is, so of course they’re in the process of selling him out.

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Man is shooting at Utility Trucks because he does not like them parked where they are parked. Tantrum with a gun.

A retired Florida firefighter opened fire on utility trucks parked in front of his lawn after they ignored his orders to move.
A witness recorded video of Jorge Jove calmly walking around an AT&T truck about 11 a.m. Wednesday and firing gunshots at all four tires and the engine as panicked workers called 911 for help, reported the Miami Herald.
“He’s shooting the truck right now,” said a worker, who identified himself to dispatchers as Derrick Taylor. “There’s a guy shooting the tires and shooting the engines and everything.”
The 64-year-old Jove then walked over to the second truck and started shooting, and even reloaded his gun several times.
“Someone’s up in the bucket truck and he can’t come down because he’s shooting the truck,” Taylor told the 911 dispatcher.
Police arrived and questioned Jove, who said he was angry the trucks were parked in front of his driveway.
“He flattened their tires, he shot into the bodies of the trucks, he shot at one of the radiators of the trucks,” said Sgt. Carl Zogby, of Hialeah police. “We’re trying to determine now whether he was actually intentionally trying to shoot the workers or just shoot the vehicles.”
The workers told Jove they would move the vehicle within minutes, after they finished their repairs, but that didn’t satisfy the homeowner.
A neighbor, who described Jove as “an impeccable man,” told WSVN-TV that the retired firefighter had previously exchanged words with utility workers making the same repairs in front of his driveway.

Jove was taken into custody for questioning, and police said charges were pending.

6 Wild Claims by Trump during an interview during a NY Times Interview.

6 Wild Claims Trump Made In His Bizarre New York Times Interview

The president spoke about Russia, Comey, Sessions and more during the exclusive sit-down.

In an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday, President Donald Trumpmade a series of shocking statements about his administration’s ties to Russia, ongoing investigations into collusion with a foreign government and his waning happiness with senior officials in the White House. Here are some of the most eyebrow-raising passages from the exclusive sit-down: 
You can read the Times’ full story here and excerpts from their interview here

Trump would not have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he’d known he would recuse himself from the Russia probe.

Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have ― which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president.”
Sessions recused himself from any future investigations into Russian influence on the 2016 presidential campaign after The Washington Post reported he had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice last year and failed to disclose the meetings. He had previously told the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath he had not had any “communications with the Russians” during the presidential campaign, which he participated in as a Trump surrogate. 

Trump said the office of special counsel Robert Mueller is full of conflicts of interest.

“He was up here and he wanted the job,” Mr. Trump said. After he was named special counsel, “I said, ‘What the hell is this all about?’ Talk about conflicts. But he was interviewing for the job. There were many other conflicts that I haven’t said, but I will at some point.”
When Mueller was chosen to lead the Justice Department’s probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, he garnered widespread praise from both sides of the aisle and was championed as an investigator with “sterling credentials.” However, Trump implies that Mueller may have had a conflict of interest because he was on a shortlist to replace fired FBI Director James Comey. When he was named special counsel, Trump’s surrogates quickly began work to undercut Mueller’s integrity, saying they questioned his impartiality due to his longtime friendship with Comey. News outlets the president is known to follow, including Fox News and InfoWars, have continued to cast doubt on the investigation, labeling it with a favorite phrase of Trump’s: “a witch hunt.”

The president claimed his second, previously undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin lasted 15 minutes and “adoption” came up. 

“The meal was going, and toward dessert I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there I said hello to Putin. Really, pleasantries more than anything else. It was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes. Just talked about ― things. Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption.”
The White House acknowledged Tuesday that Trump held a second, private conversation with Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany earlier this month. According to Ian Bremmer, the president of a consulting firm called the Eurasia Group, the talk lasted for about an hour and the only other person in on the conversation was a Kremlin interpreter. Bremmer told the Times that guests at the dinner where the interaction occurred were “confused” and “flummoxed” by it.
“Never in my life as a political scientist have I seen two countries ― major countries ― with a constellation of national interests that are as dissonant while the two leaders seem to be doing everything possible to make nice and be close to each other,” Bremmer told Bloomberg’s Charlie Rose.
The White House disputed the characterization of the talk as a “meeting” and said it lasted a short while. 
“It was pleasantries and small talk,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

Trump accused Comey, whom he abruptly fired in May, of using an unverified dossier of compromising material to keep his job.

“In my opinion, he shared it so that I would think he had it out there,” Mr. Trump said. As leverage? “Yeah, I think so,” Mr. Trump said. “In retrospect.”
The president dismissed the assertions in the dossier: “When he brought it to me, I said this is really, made-up junk. I didn’t think about any of it. I just thought about, man, this is such a phony deal.”
According to his testimony last month to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey first informed Trump about the existence of the dossier ― compiled by a former British spy, Christopher Steele ― in January after U.S. intelligence agents decided he should be told before anything was published by the media. Comey said the president again denied anything alleged in the document was accurate during a private dinner later that month and urged the then-director to investigate the material.
“I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative,” Comey said in his prepared remarks. “He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it.”
The president once more denied the allegations in a call in late March, saying he “had not been involved with hookers in Russia,” Comey recalled.

Mueller would cross a “red line” if he looked into the Trump family’s finances beyond Russia.

“If Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia — is that a red line?”
“I would say yeah. I would say yes.”
As the Times reports, Trump did not say if he would consider firing Mueller, noting, “I can’t answer that question because I don’t think it’s going to happen.” Only the deputy attorney general who appointed the special counsel can directly fire him (that would be Rod Rosenstein, who is in charge of such decisions as Sessions has recused himself). However, Trump could fire Rosenstein and, as Politico reports, “continue down the lineuntil a DOJ official acquiesced.”

Trump complained about Rosenstein, describing him as a man Sessions “hardly knew” and alluding that he was annoyed the deputy attorney general was “from Baltimore.”

“I said, ‘Who’s your deputy?’ So his deputy he hardly knew, and that’s Rosenstein, Rod Rosenstein, who is from Baltimore. There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any. So, he’s from Baltimore.”
Rosenstein was born in Philadelphia and lived in Bethesda, Maryland, when he was U.S. attorney for the state.
He has been described as the “poster child for the professional, competent, ethical and fair-minded prosecutor,” and he told The Baltimore Sun in April he was ready to take up the No. 2 job at the Justice Department “without regard to partisan political consideration.”
Rosenstein made headlines earlier this year after a memo he drafted about Comey was cited by the president as his reasoning for firing the FBI director. In the document, Rosenstein criticized Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, but the deputy attorney general reportedly threatened to quit after he was painted by the White House as the driving force behind the dismissal of Comey.
His nomination earned bipartisan support, and the Senate voted 94-6 to confirm him