Trump’s Latest Tweet Just Crossed Another Bright Line

The president demands an investigation into the investigation of his campaign.

Kevin Dietsch/Zuma

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

Still stewing from a flurry of new reports about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump demanded Sunday that the Department of Justice investigate itself:

Trump was evidently referencing a Friday report by the New York Times that the FBI had used an informant in 2016 to talk to Trump advisors it believed “had suspicious contacts linked to Russia.” 

Maybe he’s just bored on a Sunday afternoon, but what Trump says he’s going to do is pretty remarkable—he wants to order a Justice Department investigation into a secret FBI source in order to interrupt an investigation into his own campaign. It’s the definition of a politically motivated investigation, and a textbook example of what the president isn’t supposed to do:

Your move, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. So far, Sessions has resisted congressional Republicans’ earlier call for a second special counsel to investigate the investigation into the president’s campaign. Yet despite his supposed recusal from all things Russia investigation-related, Sessions has already asked the DOJ inspector general to look into the FBI’s surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. 

Update: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein responded to Trump’s demand by directing the inspector general to include attempts to “infiltrate” the campaign in its ongoing probe:

We Recommend


Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.