Tags: Donald Trump | richard blumenthal | donald trump | tweets

Sen. Blumenthal: Trump's Tweets 'Really Not About Me'

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Tuesday, 08 Aug 2017 10:19 AM

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who came under fire Monday from President Donald Trump about the Russia investigation during a CNN interview, said Tuesday that he can't explain either the president's "obsession" with him or the targets of his tweets.

"There is an ongoing special counsel investigation," the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "It is real. It is based on facts. That's where the issue is. That's where the focus ought to be. Our national security and the rule of law are at serious risk. So it is not about me."

After the senator defended FBI special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling, Trump launched a series of tweets, slamming him as a "phony Vietnam con artist" and later saying he should take a vacation in Vietnam.

Blumenthal fired back about Trump's "bullying," saying that it did not change the matter of the Russia investigation.

"It's really not about me," Blumenthal said Tuesday. "I have no idea what is in the president's head, but I can tell you I'm determined not to be distracted. I think they are designed to distract, these bullying tweets."

Trump's actions, he continued, "only reinforce my determination to protect the special counsel, because he has used the same tactics in seeking to bully and intimidate the special counsel, Bob Mueller."

Trump has been "drawing red lines and implying conflicts of interest, vaguely and unspecifically," said the senator.

The president also is trying "other kinds of tactics that we're trying to prevent through the legislation that we offered, bipartisan legislation to Republicans for Democrats to stop him from firing Bob Mueller unless he can show a court that there is good cause under established standards."

The legislation will "have legs" when the Senate returns to full session in September, "regardless of all [his] tweets," said Blumenthal. "I'm determined not to be distracted."

Blumenthal said the legislation, already sponsored as a bipartisan effort, will most likely face broad bipartisan support when Congress returns to session.

"Firing Bob Mueller would provoke a firestorm, a constitutional crisis," said Blumenthal. "Our goal is to avert it by sending a message to the president that this kind of dictatorial act would be intolerable. Checks and balances are what our democracy is about, and the grand jury provides some permanence and protection. It's an arm of the court. He can't fire the grand jury or the court. Even if he tries egregiously."

The senator then shifted to discuss his party's economic message heading into the 2018 elections, saying that the goals are to drive down the cost of living, while creating more jobs through skills training.

"In Connecticut there are jobs now, there are going to be jobs in the future," he said. "People lack the skills to fill the jobs. It has to be an economic message of fairness and inclusiveness."

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who came under fire Monday from President Donald Trump after about the Russia investigation during a CNN interview, said Tuesday that he can't explain either the president's "obsession" with him or the targets of his tweets.
richard blumenthal, donald trump, tweets
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2017-19-08
Tuesday, 08 Aug 2017 10:19 AM
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