“I’m not happy about certain things, I’ll be honest,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m not happy about certain things, but he’s done a fantastic job running the E.P.A., which is very overriding.”
Mr. Trump also returned to other frequent topics. He mocked National Football League players for protesting racism when they are “making $15 million a year.” He again assailed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada for saying he would not “be pushed around” over tariffs.
And he dismissed the importance of a misleading statement he dictated last year about a Trump Tower meeting with Russians during the 2016 campaign, a statement that his lawyer and spokeswoman at first denied he had dictated even though his legal team later admitted that he had. “It’s irrelevant,” Mr. Trump said. “That’s not a statement to a high tribunal of judges. That’s a statement to the phony New York Times.”
Mr. Trump even suggested that his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, a retired three-star general, did not actually lie to investigators even though he has pleaded guilty to doing so and the president himself has previously said he fired Mr. Flynn for lying.
“I feel badly for General Flynn,” he said. “He’s lost his house, he’s lost his life. And some people say he lied and some people say he didn’t lie. I mean really it turned out maybe he didn’t lie. How can you do that? How can you do that because who’s lied more than Comey? Comey lied a tremendous amount.”
The president seemed most animated, however, by the new inspector general report and used it to undercut Mr. Comey and Mr. Mueller. “What he did was criminal,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Comey. “What he did was a terrible thing to the people. What he did was so bad in terms of our Constitution, in terms of the well-being of our country. What he did was horrible.”
Mr. Trump continued, “Should he be locked up? Let somebody make a determination.”
Mr. Strzok worked on the investigation into Mrs. Clinton in 2016 and his texts to a colleague, Lisa Page, were cited by the inspector general for showing an unprofessional bias. When Ms. Page was alarmed in August 2016 at the prospect of Mr. Trump’s winning the election, Mr. Strzok reassured her. “We’ll stop it,” he wrote.
Mr. Trump said that proved the F.B.I. was trying to sabotage him. “Peter Strzok should have been fired a long time ago and others should have been fired,” he said.