TRUMP: ‘I have absolute right to do what I want’
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has falsely claimed that he has the "absolute right" to do whatever he'd like with the Justice Department during an interview published in The New York Times.
Mr Trump made the comments when he was asked whether the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails should be reopened.
"I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department," Mr Trump said.
He then quickly pivoted into Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into his own Administration for possible collusion with Russia.
"But for purposes of hopefully thinking I'm going to be treated fairly, I've stayed uninvolved with this particular matter," Mr Trump said. "I think (Mueller's) going to be fair."
Mr Trump then cited Fox News contributor Alan Dershowitz to bolster the legality of his claims.
"I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day," Mr Trump continued.
"He said, No. 1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if it was a crime, there was no collusion."
Mr Trump notably said the word "collusion" 16 times during the half-hour interview.
Mr Trump said he thought the Russia investigation was a bad look for the US.
"It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position," Trump said. "So the sooner it's worked out, the better it is for the country."
Mr Trump has threatened to fire Mr Mueller in the past and says he accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin's word that he didn't meddle in the 2016 US election.
"Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that,' and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it," Mr Trump said. "I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country."
Mr Trump also took another swipe at his Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, saying it was "too bad" that he recused himself from the Russia probe.
While he did not answer the Times' question if he thought one of former president Barack Obama's Attorneys-General, Eric Holder, was more loyal than Mr Sessions, he said Mr Holder "totally protected" Mr Obama, something he has "great respect for."
TRUMP CALLS FOR MORE GLOBAL WARMING
Meanwhile, Mr Trump says the US East Coast "could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming" as bitterly cold temperatures are expected to freeze large swaths of the country this holiday weekend.
Mr Trump wrote on Twitter, "In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record."
He added: "Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!"
In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
The president did not acknowledge the difference between the weather and the climate. Weather refers to the atmospheric conditions during a shorter period, while climate is a longer view of weather patterns.
Mr Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about climate change science, calling global warming a "hoax" created by the Chinese to damage American industry.
He announced earlier this year his intention to pull out of the landmark Paris climate agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gas production.
The accord set goals for slowing the rate of climate change by reducing the emissions that contribute to melting Arctic ice, increasing sea levels and changing weather patterns across the globe.
The UN's weather and climate agency said last month that 2017 was on track to become the hottest year on record aside from those impacted by the El Nino phenomenon, which can contribute to higher temperatures.
Last year set a record for Earth's average global temperature.
TRUMP SLAMS US POSTAL SERVICE, AMAZON
Mr Trump also took a swipe at the US Postal Service and Amazon.
He tweeted that the US Postal Service should charge Amazon.com more money to ship the millions of packages it sends around the world each year.
Amazon has been a consistent recipient of Mr Trump's ire. He has accused the company of failing to pay "internet taxes," though it's never been made clear by the White House what the president means by that.
Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
In a tweet overnight, Mr Trump said Amazon should be charged "MUCH MORE" by the post office because it's "losing many billions of dollars a year" while it makes "Amazon richer." Amazon lives and dies by shipping, and increasing rates that it negotiates with the post office, as well as shippers like UPS and FedEx, could certainly do some damage.
In the seconds after the tweet, shares of Amazon, which had been trading higher before the opening bell, began to fade and went into negative territory.
Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. The Post, as well as other major media, has been labeled as "fake news" by Mr Trump after reporting unfavorable developments during his campaign and presidency.
He has labeled Bezos' Post the, "AmazonWashingtonPost."
The Seattle company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A spokeswoman for the Postal Service said, "We're looking into it."
Between July and September, Amazon paid $US5.4 billion in worldwide shipping costs, a 39 per cent increase from the same period in the previous year.
That amounts to nearly 11 per cent of the $US43.7 billion in total revenue it reported in that same period.
In 2014, Amazon reached a deal with the Postal Service to offer delivery on Sundays.
The US Postal Service has lost money for 11 straight years, mostly because of pension and health care costs. While online shopping has led to growth in its package-delivery business, that hasn't offset declines in first-class mail. Federal regulators moved recently to allow bigger jumps to stamp prices beyond the rate of inflation, which could eventually increase shipping rates for all companies.
Amazon has taken some steps toward becoming more self-reliant in shipping.
Earlier this year it announced that it would build a worldwide air cargo hub in Kentucky.
NO PROTECTION FOR DREAMERS WITHOUT WALL
Mr Trump also said there won't be protection for young immigrants brought into the country illegally unless he gets funding for a border wall and other items.
Mr Trump said on Twitter on Friday: "The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc." He added: "We must protect our Country at all cost!
The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
The battle over immigration has been delayed until next year.
Democrats want protections for the young immigrants, who are referred to as "Dreamers."
But while there is significant bipartisan sympathy for these immigrants, Republican demands for Mr Trump's border wall and for immigration agents have proved difficult to resolve.