President Donald Trump took aim at special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, suggesting the probe was “ridiculous,” “partisan” and one that could derail economic progress in the United States.
Referring to the 304,000 jobs added to the U.S. economy in January, Trump — whose demands for funding for a border wall caused a partial government shutdown for 35 days — told lawmakers and the nation that “an economic miracle is taking place in the United States.”
“The only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations,” Trump continued. “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!”
The president has repeatedly decried Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling as a “witch hunt” and a “disgrace” to the country.
Mueller’s team has already indicted or received guilty pleas from at least three Russian companies and 34 people, including former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and the president’s longtime adviser Roger Stone.
Some observers on social media compared Trump’s comments on Tuesday to former President Richard Nixon’s call to end the Watergate probe during his 1974 State of the Union address.