U.S. President Donald Trump believed the appointment of a special counsel to take over the federal probe of Russian interference into the 2016 election would spell the end of his presidency, according to the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
When former Attorney General Jeff Sessions informed Trump of Mueller’s appointment in May 2017, the report said, Trump slumped back in his chair and said: “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”
Trump then asked Sessions, whom he had berated for months for recusing himself from the Russia probe: “How could you let this happen, Jeff?” and told Sessions he had let him down.
Details of Mueller’s investigation were released on Thursday, showing Trump tried to impede the probe, raising questions of whether he committed the crime of obstruction of justice.
Sessions, who resigned in November, recalled that Trump said to him, “you were supposed to protect me,” or words to that effect, the report said.
The Republican president had bristled at the investigation since taking office in January 2017, belittling Sessions and calling the probe a witch hunt and a hoax.
“Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,” Trump said, according to the report. “It takes years and years and I won’ t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”