In a new interview, Donald Trump once again denied any collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia—then added this stunning postscript: “Even if there was, it’s not a crime!”
Speaking to The New York Times on Thursday, Trump praised lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has argued that Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey was not obstruction of justice because Trump has the right to fire the head of the bureau:
I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No. 1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if it was a crime, there was no collusion. And he said that very strongly. He said there was no collusion. And he has studied this thing very closely. I’ve seen him a number of times.
There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime. But there’s no collusion.
Trump also said Robert Mueller’s investigation “makes the country look very bad”:
It puts the country in a very bad position. So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.
One of President Trump’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow, told the New Yorker earlier this month that it didn’t matter if members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia because “there is no crime of collusion”:
For something to be a crime, there has to be a statute that you claim is being violated. There is not a statute that refers to criminal collusion. There is no crime of collusion.
He’s correct that there is no “collusion” statute. The law instead uses the terms “coordination” and “conspiracy” and “obstruction of justice”—all of which are crimes.
Mueller’s investigation has the authority to look into any matters that come up in the course of investigating possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Trump and friends went from "There's no collusion at all and I should sue you for saying it" to "Actually Hillary colluded" to "Collusion isn't a crime so what that we did it"
— Marcus H. Johnson (@marcushjohnson) December 29, 2017
Trump told NYT, “There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s
not a crime.” Oops, he made a lie sandwich w/a light confession
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) December 29, 2017
Donald Trump repeated 16 times in his interview with the New York Times that there is “no collusion.” Then he said even if there was — “collusion is not a crime.”
I can’t wait until Donald Trump finds out that CONSPIRING WITH RUSSIA and OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE are CRIMES.
— PROUD RESISTER ? (@ProudResister) December 29, 2017
What a pathetic interview. He continues to show that he has absolutely no understanding of the law, the constitution or his job. To him this is just a TV show where his popularity and ratings are the most important things. Lordy, lordy, lordy…help us.
— Quance (@QuanceLuc) December 29, 2017
It seems like he always says No Collusion, no collusion, no collusion (3 X in a row)…..it's like he thinks he's not in Kansas anymore and by repeating it three times, his wish will be granted.
— Roberta Morris Corso (@MorrisCorso) December 29, 2017
Said "no collusion" 16 times; claimed "absolute right" to "do what he wants" at DOJ the second he feels he personally isn't being treated "fairly" (i.e., is accused of anything); said protecting a president is part of an Attorney General's job (it's not). https://t.co/wmOgqLPhyk
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) December 29, 2017