DC Daily: Trump slams special counsel's 'thug' lawyers, calls Mueller 'disgraced and discredited'

Here's what's making headlines in the political world on Monday, August 20, 2018:

Trump calls Mueller lawyers “thugs” in Twitter rant
-- President Trump continued his attack on Robert Mueller and his team, referring to the special counsel’s lawyers as “thugs” and a “national disgrace.”

In a series of tweets Monday morning, the president was on the offensive as he spoke on Mueller’s continuing investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials. Trump specifically called out Mueller's lawyers following a meeting with White House attorneys.

Trump said: "Disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller and his whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs spent over 30 hours with the White House Councel, only with my approval, for purposes of transparency. Anybody needing that much time when they know there is no Russian Collusion is just someone....looking for trouble. They are enjoying ruining people’s lives and REFUSE to look at the real corruption on the Democrat side - the lies, the firings, the deleted Emails and soooo much more! Mueller’s Angry Dems are looking to impact the election. They are a National Disgrace!"

He then added: "Where’s the Collusion? They made up a phony crime called Collusion, and when there was no Collusion they say there was Obstruction (of a phony crime that never existed). If you FIGHT BACK or say anything bad about the Rigged Witch Hunt, they scream Obstruction!"

Trump included former CIA Director John Brennan in a follow-up tweets: "I hope John Brennan, the worst CIA Director in our country’s history, brings a lawsuit. It will then be very easy to get all of his records, texts, emails and documents to show not only the poor job he did, but how he was involved with the Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt. He won’t sue! Everybody wants to keep their Security Clearance, it’s worth great prestige and big dollars, even board seats, and that is why certain people are coming forward to protect Brennan. It certainly isn’t because of the good job he did! He is a political 'hack.'"


Comedian claims to have successfully prank called Trump
-- A comedian pretending to be Sen. Bob Menendez for a bit says he got through to the President, who called him back from Air Force One.

"I am shocked ... I mean we did this as a goof, I'm a comedian," said John Melendez, better known as Stuttering John. "I just could not believe that it took us an hour and a half to get Jared Kushner and Donald Trump on the phone from Air Force One."

At the start of the purported call, the voice that sounds like Trump congratulates who he thought was Menendez on his acquittal in a federal corruption case, saying, "You went through a tough, tough situation, and I don't think a very fair situation. But congratulations."

The two also discuss the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy, according to the audio on the podcast. The voice that sounds like Trump promises the fake Menendez he'll nominate a new justice in "10 to 14 days."

"All they had to ask me is what party affiliation is Sen. Menendez, or what state is he a senator of, and I would not have known. But they didn't ask me any of this," Melendez told CNN.

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Melania Trump speaks out on cyberbullying
-- First Lady Melania Trump spoke out against cyberbullying Monday as part of her Be Best campaign, warning against "destructive and harmful" uses of social media and once again highlighting a messaging rift between the East Wing and the West Wing.

In remarks at a cyberbullying summit in Rockville, Maryland, the first lady acknowledged that children can be more aware of the "pitfalls" of social media than adults.

"Let's face it: most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults, but we still need to do all we can to provide them with information and tools for successful and safe online habits," she said.

Trump called for educating children on responsible social media habits.

"In today's global society, social media is an inevitable part of our children's daily lives. It can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly. This is why Be Best chooses to focus on the importance of teaching our next generation how to conduct themselves safely and in a positive manner in an online setting," Trump said.

Less than one week ago, her husband, President Donald Trump, took to social media to harshly attack a former White House aide.

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175 ex-U.S. officials added to list denouncing Trump over Brennan's security clearance
-- One hundred and seventy-five former U.S. officials spanning service across intelligence agencies, the State Department, the National Security Council and the Department of Defense added their names on Monday to a list of intelligence officials denouncing President Trump's decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance.

"All of us believe it is critical to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure. But we believe equally strongly that former government officials have the right to express their unclassified views on what they see as critical national security issues without fear of being punished for doing so," the letter states.

"Our signatures below do not necessarily mean that we concur with the opinions expressed by former CIA Director Brennan or the way in which he expressed them," the group statement added. "What they do represent, however, is our firm belief that the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views."

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Prosecutors preparing charges for Michael Cohen
-- Federal prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen and could announce them by the end of the month, people familiar with the matter tell CNN.

The U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York has been investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations related in part to a $130,000 hush money payment made to silence porn star Stormy Daniels' allegations of an affair with Trump. Trump has denied an affair.

Investigators are also examining more than $20 million in loans obtained for Cohen and his family's taxi companies, The New York Times reported Sunday night, citing people familiar with the matter.

Criminal charges against Cohen would be a major setback to President Donald Trump because Cohen has long been in his inner circle. Cohen has prided himself over the years on his reputation as Trump's pit bull and once said he "would take a bullet" for Trump.

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CNN contributed to this report

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