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Trump sidesteps question on firing Mueller or Rosenstein: 'They're still here'

The president also continued to lash out at the Russia investigation, calling it a "hoax" created by Democrats to "soften the blow of a loss."

by Dartunorro Clark /  / Updated 
Image:
President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a news conference at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club on Wednesday in Palm Beach, Florida.Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

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President Donald Trump appeared to snub the suggestion from naysayers that he will fire special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia investigation, telling reporters on Wednesday: "They're still here."

"They've been saying I'm going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months, and they're still here," the president told reporters at a news conference with the Japanese prime minister at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

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The president also continued to lash out at the Russia investigation, which is examining Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign as well as any collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin.

He called it a "hoax" created by Democrats in the interest of "softening the blow of a loss."

"There was no collusion and that's been so found," Trump said. "We are giving tremendous amounts of paper … I believe we've given them 1.4 million pages of documents,” Trump said.

"We are hopefully coming to the end," he added.

Reportedly, Trump has sought to fire Mueller twice. The first time was in June 2017 and the second time was late last December, according to The New York Times, which first broke both stories. Pressure has also been mounting on Rosenstein after it was revealed that he personally signed off on last week's FBI raid on Trump's longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Toward the end of Wednesday's gathering, the president also made unprompted remarks that he’s been stricter with Russia than his predecessors.

"Nobody's tougher on Russia than me," he said.

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