— -- President Trump says he believes the Russia investigation makes the United States “look very bad” as special counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” Trump said Thursday at his Florida golf club in an impromptu interview with The New York Times. “So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”
The president backed away from his previous statements that the investigation would be wrapped up by the end of the year or shortly thereafter, conceding that he has no idea when the investigation will conclude.
“Timing wise, I can’t tell you. I just don’t know. But I think we’ll be treated fairly,” the president said, adding that there was “tremendous collusion on behalf of the Russians and the Democrats.”
According to The Times, Trump said there was “no collusion” between Russia and his campaign 16 times during the 30-minute interview, and believed Mueller would treat him fairly.
“Let’s just say — I think that Bob Mueller will be fair, and everybody knows that there was no collusion,” Trump said. “I hope that he’s going to be fair. I think that he’s going to be fair.”
Trump told ABC News earlier this month that he’s not considering firing Mueller despite questioning the integrity of FBI investigators.
As for future investigations, Trump added ominously: "I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.”