Last week, Napolitano said the report exposed a pattern of obstruction by the president that was “unlawful, defenseless and condemnable.”
Trump responded on Twitter by calling Napolitano “dumb” and claiming he had asked for a Supreme Court nomination for himself and a pardon for a friend.
But Napolitano didn’t back down. On Monday evening, he told Martha MacCallum on Fox News that Mueller’s report detailed how Trump had asked White House counsel Don McGahn to lie to investigators. He called that “classic obstruction” even though McGahn ultimately didn’t do so.
The law, Napolitano said, prohibits “attempted interference” as well as actual interference.
Earlier in the day, Napolitano told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that the pardon incident Trump tweeted about was for a mutual friend, and was brought up by Trump. He also denied seeking a Supreme Court seat, saying that while he was pitching Neil Gorsuch ― who was eventually picked ― Trump also asked him to pitch himself.
However, in 2017, Politico reported that Napolitano had boasted to friends about being on the short list for a Supreme Court seat. At around the same time, Napolitano claimed ― without evidence ― that British spies had wiretapped Trump during the campaign for then-President Barack Obama.
Fox News suspended Napolitano for making that claim.
On Monday, Napolitano told Bartiromo that Trump’s attack on him was “brilliant” because the president wanted to divert attention from the Mueller report.
“His relationship with me is not the story,” Napolitano told Bartiromo. “We’ve been friends for 30 years and probably will be for the next 30 years.”
That long relationship didn’t stop Napolitano from sharing a story on Twitter warning that his old friend could lose key states to former Vice President Joe Biden in next year’s election: