1008 GMT September 19, 2019
Trump took aim again at his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, prompting a rare retort from the embattled justice department chief, AFP reported.
Days after Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen told a federal judge he made illegal campaign contributions at the president's request – to silence women alleging affairs with Trump – the Republican leader told Fox News that an impeachment would only cause more turmoil.
"I will tell you what, if I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor," Trump said. "You would see – you would see numbers that you wouldn't believe in reverse."
The US president then launched into a rambling statement on job creation and other economic progress he said had been made during his presidency. "I don't know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job," Trump said.
Trump was dealt severe back-to-back blows on Tuesday when Cohen pled guilty to illegal campaign finance violations and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of tax and bank fraud within minutes of each other.
The Manafort conviction was the first case sent to trial by the special prosecutor probing Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election.
Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong after Cohen, his longtime private lawyer and fixer, implicated him in the illicit hush payments made before the 2016 election to two women who claimed to have had affairs with the Republican presidential candidate.
Although Cohen did not name them, the women were believed to be porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Because the hush payments were intended to influence the outcome of the elections, they violated US laws governing campaign contributions.
In entering a guilty plea, Cohen said the payments were made "in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," in clear reference to Trump.
Trump was evasive when asked in the Fox News interview if he had instructed Cohen to make the payments, saying that his former lawyer "made the deals," and insisted that Cohen's actions were "not a crime."
Trump then said the hush payments were financed with his own money – to which Cohen had access – and that while he had no knowledge of them at the time, he had since been fully transparent.
Trump aimed an especially vicious attack at Sessions, whom he has criticized often, again for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, saying Sessions should have warned him when he got the job that he planned to do so.
Sessions made a rare counterattack, saying in a statement, "I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President's agenda."
"While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations," Sessions said in what was seen as a veiled jab at Trump.