Bharara Says He Was Canned After Refusing Trump Call

He says president kept calling to 'shoot the breeze'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2017 3:41 AM CDT
Updated Jun 12, 2017 5:15 AM CDT
Bharara Says He Was Canned After Refusing Trump Call
FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2016 file photo, United States District Attorney Preet Bharara announces charges in New York, against Navnoor Kang. Bharara on Thursday, April 6, 2017, made his first public speech since he left the job, telling a packed house at The Cooper Union college he waited last month...   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Preet Bharara says two phone calls from President Trump made him uncomfortable—and he was fired less than 24 hours after refusing to return a third one. On ABC's This Week on Sunday, the former US attorney for Manhattan said President Obama never called him directly and he found it strange when Trump, as president-elect, called saying he wanted to "shoot the breeze," reports Reuters. He said he reported the phone calls to the attorney general because he felt it was "inappropriate" that Trump seemed be trying to "cultivate some kind of relationship" with him. Bharara said when he got a message after Trump became president, he decided that returning it would not be appropriate, and was out of a job 22 hours later.

"It's a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation without the attorney general, without warning, between the president and me or any United States attorney who ... is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the president," Bharara said, adding that as a federal prosecutor, the number of calls he would expect to receive from the president is zero. "To this day, I have no idea why I was fired," said Bharara, who sat behind James Comey during the former FBI director's Senate testimony last week, the Washington Post reports. During the interview, Bharara said Comey's firing "felt a little bit like deja vu." (More Preet Bharara stories.)

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