Former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara attends the Senate Intelligence Committee where FBI Director James Comey is sent to testify in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
The New York City federal prosecutor who expected to remain on the job when Donald Trump took office but ended up being fired says he was made uncomfortable by one-on-one interactions with the president — just like James Comey was.
Preet Bharara told ABC’s “This Week” that he thinks Trump was trying to “cultivate some kind of relationship” with him.
Bharara said he found it “very weird and peculiar” to be drawn into private conversations with the president.
After the election but before the inauguration, Trump asked Bharara to stay on as U.S. attorney in Manhattan when they met at Trump Tower.
Bharara said Trump called him twice before the inauguration, to “shoot the breeze.”
Trump reached out again as president, but Bharara says he refused to return the call, because he considered these contacts inappropriate. Bharara was asked for his resignation, along with other U.S. attorneys, but he refused and was fired.
Bharara said he’s not accusing Trump of pressing him on any particular case. But he said it’s discomfiting for a president to be in private communication with top prosecutors.