Fresh from the failure of his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, President Trump has turned his ire on domestic critics and political foes.
In a rambling and sometimes profanity-punctuated address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Mr Trump veered off-script to launch a tirade about the Russia investigation and “mad” Democrats seeking to his investigate his financial dealings.
The no-holds-barred verbal assault comes as Washington insiders are predicting US Special Counsel Robert Mueller will soon release his long-awaited findings on alleged Russia collusion by the Trump campaign in 2016.
The president’s political opponents are “trying to take me out with bull***t”, Mr Trump told the enthusiastic crowd, which periodically interrupted his two-hour address with wild cheers.
Mr Trump also mocked his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and ex-FBI director James Comey, both of whom he fired.
“We’re waiting for a report by people who weren’t elected,” Trump said of the Mueller investigation, which has been more than two years in the making.
Prompting speculation that the handing over of Mueller’s dossier to Attorney-General William Barr is imminent are the recent resignations of some of Mr Mueller’s lawyers and investigators, suggesting their jobs have been done.
Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May, 2017, to take over the Russia investigation after Trump fired Comey, whose agency had led the probe initially. Rosenstein is expected to step down within weeks.
Trump said Comey was Mueller’s “best friend,” and implied Comey should have been fired before Trump took office.
“Unfortunately, you put the wrong people in a couple of positions and they leave people for a long time that shouldn’t be there and all of a sudden they are trying to take you out with bull***t, okay?” Trump said.
“Now Robert Mueller never received a vote and neither did the person who appointed him,” he added.
Trump still has made no move to fire Mueller, a Republican and respected former FBI director who has conducted his investigation with utmost secrecy.
Trump also mocked the Southern accent of Sessions and criticised him for recusing himself from the Russia probe.
In November, Trump fired Sessions, a former US senator from Alabama who was among the first Republican lawmakers to back Trump’s presidential bid.