Trump fires attorney general after he declines to investigate Russia probe
President Donald Trump on Thursday fired the attorney general of the United States over his refusal to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, an act that critics said would embolden Russia and embolden Moscow to continue meddling in the United State.
Trump fired Sally Yates in February after she refused to enforce a federal law barring former President Barack Obama from firing an FBI director in the wake of a Russia probe.
Trump, who has been feuding with the FBI and its Director, Robert Mueller, has also criticized the FBI for not doing enough to investigate ties between his associates and Russia.
“The Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, is totally unqualified to serve as Attorney General of the Department of Justice,” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
“She is a witch hunt victim, and a liar.”
He added that he was “disappointed” in Yates and “totally disgusted” by the fact that she was “acting in the manner that she has.”
Trump also blasted the FBI’s handling of the investigation into ties between Russia and Trump associates.
“When I was a candidate, I said that the FBI should investigate my political opponents, my political rivals,” Trump said at a rally on Wednesday in North Carolina.
“That’s not how you do it.
They’re investigating people who are supposed to be my enemies.
So they’re doing it in a totally biased way, and it’s not right.
It’s not fair.
And I’m not happy with it.
It just doesn’t work that way.
I mean, the FBI is the only law enforcement agency in the country that’s not investigating.”
Yates was a career prosecutor who worked for George W. Bush and for President Barack H. Obama, and was named the nation’s top law enforcement official by the late President Ronald Reagan in 2008.
She is the former head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, a department that investigates discrimination against people of color and other vulnerable groups.
Trump’s comments came as the FBI launched an investigation into the potential ties between Trump associates and Russian intelligence services, including the FBI director and the former national security adviser.
Trump on Wednesday also attacked the Justice and State Departments and the FBI, accusing the agencies of being “weak” on the issue of Russian meddling in U.S. elections and called for a full investigation.
“If we have a special prosecutor, I’ll be very happy to do it,” Trump told supporters in New Hampshire on Thursday morning.
“I will say that if we have it, it’ll be a real investigation, it will be thorough.
It will not be a witch-hunt.”
The White House said that Trump and Yates met in person on Wednesday and that they had a “very productive” conversation.
Trump has called for an investigation of Russia’s alleged interference in last year’s presidential election and has called on the Justice Dept. to appoint a special counsel.