During an impromptu interview with the New York Times Thursday, President Donald Trump indicated it is not he who looks bad as a result of the Russia investigation but the United States:
“It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” Mr. Trump said of the investigation. “So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”
When asked if he would order an investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, Trump skirted the question, staying with the topic of the Russia probe:
“I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department,” he said, echoing claims by his supporters that as president he has the power to open or end an investigation. “But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.”
Trump later reiterated his belief that the notion of his campaign's possible collusion with Russia is a hoax created by the Democrats.
Mr. Trump repeated his assertion that Democrats invented the Russia allegations “as a hoax, as a ruse, as an excuse for losing an election.” He said that “everybody knows” his associates did not collude with the Russians, even as he insisted that the “real stories” are about Democrats who worked with Russians during the 2016 campaign.