Both of those claims are false.
Whitaker, who was on the board of a company that scammed retirees of their life savings, literally auditioned for a DOJ job by becoming a CNN contributor. His appointment has been declared by several legal experts as illegal, unconstitutional, and he has been declared a constitutional "nobody."
No one with credibility on the matter believes Whitaker is a great legal mind, nor do they believe Whitaker has the credibility to do the job.
Trump delivered an entirely different sales job Friday morning.
"I don't know Matt Whitaker. Matt Whitaker worked for Jeff Sessions. And he was always extremely highly thought of, and he still is. But I didn't know Matt Whitaker. He worked for Attorney General Sessions."
President Trump: "Well, Matt Whitaker, I don't know Matt Whitaker..." pic.twitter.com/OHVZxbjwdq
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 9, 2018
Trump also claimed Whitaker is a "very respected man in the law enforcement community," which is debatable. He adds that his decision to install Whitaker "was greeted with raves, initially, and it still is, in some circles."
Then, in typical Trump victimization fashion, he adds, "it's a shame that no matter who I put in, they go after him."
Again, all false.
In late September, The New York Times reported, "Mr. Whitaker cuts the kind of central-casting figure whom Mr. Trump prefers, and he has served as what one White House aide called a 'balm' on the relationship between the president and the Justice Department."
Here's the part that debunks Trump's lie.
"He has frequently visited the Oval Office and is said to have an easy chemistry with Mr. Trump. On Monday morning, Mr. Trump himself called Mr. Whitaker, not with an explicit job offer but a reassurance that he has faith in him."
That was Sept. 26. Barely six weeks later, Whitaker was elevated to Acting Attorney General.
UPDATE: 11:55 AM ET –
ABC News Supervising Producer just posted this tweet and video:
Trump said 4 times today "I don't know Matt Whitaker." Here is he is on Fox News last month saying, "I can tell you Matt Whitaker's a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker."— Justin Fishel (@JustinFishelABC) November 9, 2018
Interview: Donald Trump Calls in to Fox and Friends - October 11 https://t.co/WNiTu621NY via @YouTube
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