President Trump expressed his displeasure on Monday over the FBI raid on the home and office of his personal attorney Michael Cohen. "I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys," the president said during an evening meeting with his military advisers. He called Cohen "a good man" and said "it’s a disgraceful situation" and "a total witch hunt."
The president complained that his team has given "a million pages’ worth of documents to the special counsel," and "they continue to just go forward."
He said, "Here we are talking about Syria," and "I have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now." The investigation, Mr. Trump went on to say, is "an attack on what we all stand for."
The evidence seized at Cohen’s home, office and a hotel room was part of an investigation into possible campaign finance violations, bank fraud and other potential crimes. CBS News justice correspondent Paula Reid reported that client communications seized from Cohen include communications with Mr. Trump.
Investigators seized financial records and other documents, as well as emails.
"It’s a real disgrace," Mr. Trump said. He called it "an attack on our country," and he complained, "That is really a whole new level of unfairness." And he insisted again that there was "no collusion" with Russia.
And then the president seemed to go on to attack those carrying out the Russia investigation, calling them "the most biased group of people" with "the biggest conflicts of interest I’ve ever seen." He pronounced them "Democrats — all. Just about all. Either Democrats or Republicans that worked for President Obama."
And the attorney general, Mr. Trump also said, "made a terrible mistake" when he recused himself, and he "should have let us know if he was going to recuse himself."
On Syria, Mr. Trump said, "We’re going to make a decision tonight, and you’ll be hearing the decision," though probably "after the fact," He also suggested that we can’t let atrocities like chemical attacks happen — "because of the power of our country we’re able to stop that," he said. The president said that the U.S. is getting "clarity" on the suspected chemical attack that struck families in the Syrian city of Douma over the weekend. Earlier Monday, the president told reporters that there would be a "major" decision on Syria within the next 24 to 48 hours.
"This is about humanity, we’re talking about humanity, and it can’t be allowed to happen," he said in the earlier meeting with his Cabinet. "We’ll be making that decision very quickly, probably by the end of today. We cannot allow atrocities like that."
Mr. Trump also said earlier that the administration is "studying" the situation in Syria closely and is talking to military leaders about an appropriate response.
"If it’s the Russians, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out." We are getting some very good clarity on who is responsible for the attack. And we’ll be letting you know very soon, probably after the fact.
After a sarin attack in April last year, Mr. Trump ordered missile strikes on a Syrian military target in Shayrat to retaliate.
Earlier on Monday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said he would not "rule out anything." Mr. Trump similarly said that "nothing’s off the table."