Following a bombshell report by the New York Times that President Trump tried to pressure then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to appoint a recused Southern District attorney Geoffrey Berman to take over the Michael Cohen case, Trump told reporters that the story was “fake news.”
Per the NYT report, shortly after installing Whitaker as the acting attorney general, the president called Whitaker and pressured him to have Berman “unrecuse” himself in the case. Currently, the investigation into Trump’s former attorney and fixer is overseen by Robert Khuzami. The Times reports that Trump then soured on Whitaker when he didn’t execute the command, resulting in Trump nominating William Barr for attorney general.
Asked by a reporter Tuesday afternoon if he asked Whitaker to change leadership in the investigation, Trump immediately issued a denial.
“No, not at all,” he exclaimed. “I don’t know who gave you that. Just more fake news. A lot of — there’s a lot of fake news out there. No, I didn’t.”
When further asked about his relationship with Whitaker, Trump said he’s “done a great job” and the nation owes him a “lot of thanks.”
Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.