President Donald Trump lamented in a Thursday interview that he couldn’t exert more influence over the Justice Department and the FBI.
“The saddest thing is that because I’m the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI,” Trump said on “The Larry O’Connor Show” less than a week after special counsel Robert Mueller handed down indictments to former members of his campaign including its former chairman, Paul Manafort.
Trump was responding to a comment from the host that his listeners wanted to see the Justice Department go after the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.
“I look at what’s happening with the Justice Department. Well, why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with her, the dossier?” Trump said, referring to the Democratic Party-funded dossier designed to find connections between Trump and Russia that has been both partially discredited and partially corroborated.
The president added that he was “very unhappy” with where the Justice Department “isn’t going.”
“I am not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing,” he said. “And I am very frustrated by it.”
Trump’s interactions with the Justice Department have come under scrutiny, particularly as they relate to his May firing of the FBI director, James Comey, which led to Mueller’s appointment. Comey was overseeing the FBI’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials in the 2016 presidential election, an investigation that is now folded into the special counsel’s Russia-related investigation.
Trump continued to lambaste the Justice Department in a series of Friday-morning tweets, saying “everybody is asking” why it was not investigating Clinton and the Democrats.
“At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper,” he tweeted. “The American public deserves it!”
Speaking with reporters outside the White House ahead of his lengthy trip to Asia, Trump said he was “really not involved” with the Justice Department, adding that he would “like to let it run itself.”
“But honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats,” he said, adding, “A lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.”