By David Alexander and Alexandra Alper
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump dismissed questions from reporters on Monday about his staff’s willingness to carry out his orders and the chances of impeachment proceedings in the U.S. Congress, days after the Mueller report highlighted both issues.
The 448-page report from U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election revealed staff and associates sometimes ignored requests from Trump to deliver messages to third parties, including one to fire Mueller.
“Nobody disobeys me,” Republican Trump said when asked if he was worried about his orders not being followed. He made the remark at the White House during an annual Easter celebration.
Mueller’s report said that the 22-month investigation did not establish that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russians during the 2016 election campaign, but Mueller did find “multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations.”
Asked whether he was concerned about the threat of impeachment on allegations of obstruction of justice as some Democrats have called for, Trump said, “Not even a little bit.”
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, on Friday said Congress should begin the process of removing Trump from office. Other Democratic leaders have played down talk of impeachment, just 18 months before the 2020 election.
Republicans have stood by Trump and while an impeachment effort might succeed in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, it was unlikely to do so in the Republican-led Senate.
Trump, speaking from the White House balcony on Monday, returned to favorite topics of his by touting the strong United States economy and saying his administration was rebuilding the military “to a level never seen before.”
“Our country is doing fantastically well, probably the best it has ever done economically,” he said.
Reporting by David Alexander; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Grant McCool