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Mike Allen Sep 13
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Trump's closed-door rants on Comey and Mueller

Alex Brandon / AP

Behind the scenes in the West Wing, President Trump continues to rant and brood about former FBI Director Jim Comey and the Russia investigation that got him fired.

Trump tells aides and visitors that the probe now being run by special counsel Bob Mueller is a witch hunt, and that Comey was a leaker.

So White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was reflecting her boss's moods when she attacked Comey at length from the podium yesterday, after being asked about Steve Bannon's assertion to "60 Minutes" that the firing was one of the worst mistakes in modern political history:

  • "I think there is no secret Comey, by his own self-admission, leaked privileged government information. ... Comey leaked memos to the New York Times ... He politicized an investigation by signaling he would exonerate Hillary Clinton before he ever interviewed her or other key witnesses."
  • Sanders even suggested that Comey himself should be investigated: "His actions were improper and likely could have been illegal."

Why it matters: The Mueller investigation is hitting ever closer to home for Trump, and he's using the tools of his office to try to undermine the special counsel's future findings.

Be smart: Trump allies plan to vilify Mueller the way the Clinton White House treated Ken Starr.

  • Watch for a common Trump theme to solidify: partisan overreach.
  • The president's friends are most worried about Mueller digging into past business deals, which is why his team keeps raising concerns in public and private about the "scope" of the investigation.
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Sara Fischer 1 hour ago
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Time Warner CEO blasts “ridiculous” federal anti-trust argument

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes with microphone

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said in testimony Wednesday that the government is "ridiculous" to argue a combined Time Warner/AT&T would seek to hurt AT&T’s cable and satellite competitors by denying them Time Warner content.

Why it matters: The heart of the Department of Justice’s argument in suing to block the proposed $85 billion merger for suing to block the merger is that vertically integrating AT&T (a content distributor) and Time Warner (a content creator) would give Time Warner incentive to withhold its content from AT&T’s competitors — or to jack up the price.