Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was released on Thursday. (If you have several hours to kill, you can read the 400-plus-page, two-part document for yourself here.) Deep into the report — on page 78 of Volume II, to be exact — may just be the best passage of the entire document: the moment Trump admits he’s fucked.
In that section, Mueller revealed how Trump reacted to (unblinking) Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s May 2017 announcement that Mueller had been appointed to lead the special counsel. “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked,” Trump said when he was informed of the news by now-former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to the report. For a president who sees himself as above the law, admitting that he’s “fucked” certainly isn’t a promise that he is — but it is nevertheless satisfying to hear him acknowledge that he’s not unimpeachable. We’ll revel in that moment for a while.
Done reveling, we will now resume. This exchange was found in notes kept by Sessions’s chief of staff Jody Hunt. The president then “slumped back in his chair” in the Oval Office, per the report, and reportedly became “angry.” He is said to have “lambasted” Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation in the first place. “How could you let this happen, Jeff?” he reportedly asked. The report notes that Sessions recalls Trump also saying, “‘You were supposed to protect me,’ or words to that effect.” Per the report:
The president returned to the consequences of the appointment and said, “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything.”