After news of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's plea deal to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump repeated his rebuke of the investigation as an "artificial witch hunt."
"I got hit with an artificial witch hunt that should never have happened," Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Friday via telephone.
Manafort's cooperation with the special counsel might not prevent President Trump from issuing a pardon, according to lawyer Rudy Giuliani in a Fridayt text message to the Journal.
"No comment, but I don't know of anything preventing it," Giuliani texted, according to the report.
President Trump's long-held position on the investigation has been it was designed to damage his credibility politically, admitting via Twitter the poll numbers of himself and other midterm Republicans have been affected by the "phony issue."
"While my (our) poll numbers are good, with the economy being the best ever, if it weren't for the Rigged Russian Witch Hunt, they would be 25 points higher!" Trump tweeted Saturday. "Highly conflicted Bob Mueller & the 17 Angry Democrats are using this Phony issue to hurt us in the Midterms. No Collusion!"
President Trump then called out Republican leadership to stop "being played like a fiddle by the Democrats," further pushing his campaign promise on the border wall with Mexico.
"When will Republican leadership learn that they are being played like a fiddle by the Democrats on Border Security and Building the Wall?" Trump tweeted. "Without Borders, we don't have a country. With Open Borders, which the Democrats want, we have nothing but crime! Finish the Wall!"
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