President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Democratic attempts at oversight in the coming Congress could amount to “presidential harassment.”
Speaking from the Oval Office, Trump again denied any collusion between his team and Russia when he was questioned about the investigative powers Democrats will assume come January.
“It’s probably presidential harassment and we know how to handle that. I know how to handle that better than anybody,” Trump said.
“There’s been no collusion, after two years,” he added.
Trump has used the term “presidential harassment” multiple times in the past to refer to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. He’s also used the term to refer to Democratic criticism of his administration and potential tough oversight from the incoming Democratic-controlled House.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has yet to issue a final determination on the extent of connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin during the 2016 election.
“You’re talking about millions and millions and millions of dollars of wasted money,” Trump said. “There’s been absolutely no collusion. But there has been a lot of collusion by the Democrats, with Russia and a lot of other people that maybe they shouldn’t have been dealing with, including very dishonest people.”
He didn’t detail what he meant.
Trump later criticized Democrats for hailing former FBI Director James Comey after the President fired him in May 2017. In an unprompted screed against Comey, Trump said Democrats wanted Comey fired but then criticized Trump for dismissing him.
“Everybody hated Comey, they thought he did a horrible job. The Democrats hated him. They were calling for his resignation. They were calling for his firing,” Trump said.
Some Democrats faulted Comey for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Later, Trump’s firing of Comey was viewed by many Democrats as a way to short-circuit the FBI’s investigation into Russian election meddling.
“Once I fired him, everybody said, ‘Oh, why did you fire him, why did you fire him?’” Trump said, comparing the situation to Democrats’ lack of support for his border wall.
“It’s a disgrace, what’s happening in our country,” Trump fumed, seated behind the Resolute Desk. “But other than that, I wish everybody a very merry Christmas.”
This story has been updated.