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As Washington waits for word -- that could come as soon as Friday -- about the status of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump is closing his PR campaign against the investigation on a new note: Who elected this guy???

Here's Trump on that subject in an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo that was released Friday morning:
"It's always interesting to me because a deputy, that didn't get any votes, appoints a man that didn't get any votes, he's going to write a report on me. I had one of the greatest election victories in history. Would you say that's true? They came from the valleys, they came from the rivers, they came from the cities, they came from all over, they voted in one of the greatest elections in the history of our country, and now I have a man, because we have an attorney general who -- nobody can even believe he didn't tell me, but he recused himself -- so I have a man who is a deputy who I don't know, who I didn't know at all, and he appoints a man who had just left my office, I didn't give him the job at the FBI, [James] Comey's his best friend, but listen, you know it better than anybody, you've been very fair in this, but listen, I have a deputy, appoints a man to write a report on me, to make a determination on my presidency? People will not stand for it."
That diatribe from Trump is in line with the argument he made Wednesday before leaving the White House for a speech in Ohio. "It's interesting that a man gets appointed by a deputy; he writes a report. You know -- never figured that one out," he said. "I had the greatest electoral victory -- one of them -- in the history of our country. Tremendous success. Tens of millions of voters. And now somebody is going to write a report who never got a vote."
While rational argument -- especially as it relates to the Mueller probe and eventual report -- has never been Trump's strong suit, this latest (and maybe final) line of argument makes absolutely no sense. Trump is suggesting that because neither Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who established the special counsel, or Mueller were elected -- and Trump was -- they have no right to stand in judgment on him.
But that's not how this works. Any of it. No one in the Justice Department serves in an elected position. There aren't any elected jobs to run for there. So to say that because Rosenstein and Mueller "didn't get any votes" they can't do their jobs deeply misunderstands the role the Justice Department plays in American life.
It's also in keeping with Trump's broader lack of knowledge -- or concern -- about the traditional separation between a president and his Justice Department. Trump has never really seemed to grasp that the department doesn't exist to simply investigate those he would like them to. The Justice Department is, ostensibly, upholding the laws of the land, not the personal piques of a president.

Donald Trump's new, confusing closing argument against the Mueller report

As Washington waits for word -- that could come as soon as Friday -- about the status of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump is closing his PR campaign against the investigation on a new note: Who elected this guy???

Here's Trump on that subject in an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo that was released Friday morning:
"It's always interesting to me because a deputy, that didn't get any votes, appoints a man that didn't get any votes, he's going to write a report on me. I had one of the greatest election victories in history. Would you say that's true? They came from the valleys, they came from the rivers, they came from the cities, they came from all over, they voted in one of the greatest elections in the history of our country, and now I have a man, because we have an attorney general who -- nobody can even believe he didn't tell me, but he recused himself -- so I have a man who is a deputy who I don't know, who I didn't know at all, and he appoints a man who had just left my office, I didn't give him the job at the FBI, [James] Comey's his best friend, but listen, you know it better than anybody, you've been very fair in this, but listen, I have a deputy, appoints a man to write a report on me, to make a determination on my presidency? People will not stand for it."
That diatribe from Trump is in line with the argument he made Wednesday before leaving the White House for a speech in Ohio. "It's interesting that a man gets appointed by a deputy; he writes a report. You know -- never figured that one out," he said. "I had the greatest electoral victory -- one of them -- in the history of our country. Tremendous success. Tens of millions of voters. And now somebody is going to write a report who never got a vote."
While rational argument -- especially as it relates to the Mueller probe and eventual report -- has never been Trump's strong suit, this latest (and maybe final) line of argument makes absolutely no sense. Trump is suggesting that because neither Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who established the special counsel, or Mueller were elected -- and Trump was -- they have no right to stand in judgment on him.
But that's not how this works. Any of it. No one in the Justice Department serves in an elected position. There aren't any elected jobs to run for there. So to say that because Rosenstein and Mueller "didn't get any votes" they can't do their jobs deeply misunderstands the role the Justice Department plays in American life.
It's also in keeping with Trump's broader lack of knowledge -- or concern -- about the traditional separation between a president and his Justice Department. Trump has never really seemed to grasp that the department doesn't exist to simply investigate those he would like them to. The Justice Department is, ostensibly, upholding the laws of the land, not the personal piques of a president.

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