As President Trump faces intense criticism for promoting former television pundit Matt Whitaker to acting attorney general after firing Jeff Sessions, he’s decided to laughably distance himself from Sessions’ one-time chief of staff by claiming he doesn’t personally know him.
“I don’t know Matt Whitaker,” Trump told reporters this morning before he headed off to France, adding that he just knew of Whitaker’s reputation and that he worked under Sessions.
But it was just last month when the president boasted of Whitaker’s greatness to Fox News while specifically saying that he knew the ex-U.S. attorney.
“One of the questions in the Washington Post this morning it says that you talked to attorney general’s chief of staff about replacing the attorney general,” Fox & Friends’ co-host Steve Doocy asked Trump in an early October phone interview. “Apparently according to the Post who talked to Matthew Whitaker, the conversation was nebulous, whether you replace him on interim basis or nominated on a permanent basis. Anything to that story?”
“I never talk about, I can tell you Matt Whitaker is a great guy,” Trump responded. “I know Matt Whitaker, I never talk about conversations I had. The Washington Post gets it wrong a lot.”
It seems obvious that Trump is now declaring that he has no idea who Whitaker is considering that he was a Trump-boosting cable news pundit prior to joining the Justice Department last year who pontificated about the Mueller probe. Prior to Trump’s press gaggle today, CNN’s Abby Phillips reported that “Matt Whitaker is in this position at the Justice Department is literally because he caught the attention of the President and the people in the White House because of what he was saying about Mueller.”
Watch the clip above, via Fox News.