Acting Attorney General was a public critic of Russia probe

Democrats call for his recusal from Russia investigation
4:02 | 11/09/18

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Transcript for Acting Attorney General was a public critic of Russia probe
We're going to will continue coverage on that of course but. I want to turn our attention now to the the news on trumped his new acting attorney general since he ousted inspired. Attorney generals Jeff Sessions and now in places. Attorney general Matt Whitaker his past comments obviously. Around them Muller investigation causing controversy so want to go to Karen Travers at the White House. Karen what do you make of all of this what are the concerns that we should have in what is trump saying about all of. Kimberly the president is forcefully defending his choice to be the acting attorney general Matt Whittaker the president is about an hour ago with taking questions here at the White House. And there are a lot of them about the Democrats concerned that outrage right now over some of Matt Whitaker is past comments. About the Russian investigation which he now oversees and the acting attorney general. Here's what the president laughs you'll go first at what Matt Whitaker has said recently a couple comments that he made about Mueller probe. The truth is there was no collusion. With the Russians in the trump campaign there is not a single piece of evidence that demonstrates that Strom campaign had any. Illegal or even an improper relationship the Russians but it is it's that simple. All he did was make a mere suggestion and not an outright command. I don't think that rises below. I just hope that important to fishing expedition because oh we want a little more opened up the bell. Yeah oh yeah future with the limitations on that but did you continue because that we will be. It is not helping this administration and really not helping. The federal government generally to have the president and his associates. Under the cloud of a federal investigation I mean it is. It is very hard. And Democrats are pointing to that to say he can not be an impartial overseer of the Russian probe right now what is also on the president's short list to permanently replace Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general certainly the president or to nominate him there would be a big big ruckus unsure about the Democrats up on Capitol Hill but right now they say because he oversees the investigation he should recuse himself today you know Kimberly the president forcefully defending Whitaker but the same time suggesting he doesn't know much about this man he has now Clinton is very consequential position is that he would decide. I didn't speak to match whatever about it I don't know Matt Whitaker. Matt Whitaker has take great reputation and that's what I want it I also wanted to do something which. Frankly I could've brought somebody very easily from the outside. I didn't want to do. What sanctions left what I did very simply is taking a man the word recession. So there's the president is saying he recessions chief of staff that he moves him into this position but he doesn't know him all that Wellington really awesome said if you haven't looked at everything everybody's ever said when they've done radio or television interviews or their tweets that nobody would be in any position here in Washington. Yet parent how long do you expect Matt Whitaker it's actually be in this role I mean obviously picking a new attorney general is gonna take some time how long do you expect this to be happening. Well first sources say that he is not accusing south from the Russian approach that should be pointed out and sources also are saying the press. Isn't in any rush right now to name a permanent replacement for Jeff Sessions. I he's perhaps even considering waiting until the Muller probe concludes and in the interim then it would be Matt Whitaker who be at the Helm of the Justice Department. He is on the shortlist right now and sources say that the other names on the list are. Political allies supporters of the president names like Rudy Giuliani the president's personal lawyer Chris Christie who of course is an ABC news consultant but also a very close confidant of the president and a former federal prosecutor. Another name on that list is the Florida attorney general Kim Bundy Kimberly another thing to think about the president could hold off Wheaton announce a nominee. After the new congress comes in January because at that point he will have a larger Republican majority to try and get this confirmation. All right Karen thank you so much I appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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