Trump leaves for Paris, comments on new asylum rule and acting attorney general — live updates

Last Updated Nov 9, 2018 9:49 AM EST

President Trump, en route to Paris for the Armistice Day celebration, told reporters he’s never spoken with controversial Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. 

“I didn’t speak to Matt Whitaker” about special counsel Robert Mueller, the president said, claiming he “didn’t know” Whitaker but that he is “highly thought of.” 

The president’s trip to Paris comes after a contentious midterm election that Mr. Trump declared a tremendous victory, and after he ousted his attorney general Jeff Sessions and named Whitaker acting attorney general. 

He also commented on his latest move to tighten the nation’s asylum rules, saying, “We want people to come into our country, but they have to come into the country legally.” On Thursday the administration posted an interim final rule that would withhold asylum protection from immigrants who first cross the border illegally.  

As he left town, there remained several undecided high-profile races, including the Florida gubernatorial and Senate contests. The tally is still coming in from Palm Beach and Broward counties, and Mr. Trump did not rule out a federal role in potential recounts. “Could be,” he told reporters, and he mentioned a “horrible history” in Broward and declared “we won easily.” Rick Scott is locked in a tight race with incumbent Bill Nelson, and Todd Gillum’s race against Ron DeSantis is also undecided.

The president is expected to arrive in Paris later Friday afternoon. 

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