BOSTON — James "Whitey" Bulger, the ruthless Boston gangster who was killed in prison last year, praised President Donald Trump regularly in handwritten letters he wrote from prison and railed against former special counsel Robert Mueller.
Bulger, in the months before his death, wrote about many topics from his prison cell in West Virginia, according to a new NBC News report, and among them was the president.
The television network reported that Bulger defended Trump's approach to foreign policy and took the president's side in his combative relationship with the media.
"History may show Trump was the man of the hour," NBC reported Bulger wrote in one letter in August 2018. "Feel China respects him and hesitant to try to bully him."
That same month, Bulger wrote: "Trump is tough and fights back instead of bowing down to pressure — and caving in to press! U.S. agrees with him press attacking and his reaction increases his popularity — He has my vote so far."
Bulger sent those and other letters to Janet Uhlar, a former juror in Bulger's 2013 federal trial where he was convicted of participating in 11 murders. Uhlar has expressed concerns about how the government handled the case, although she said she was still convinced Bulger was a murderer. Uhlar, a nurse, shared them with NBC.
In regards to Mueller, Bulger in August wrote: "Sorry to hear Trump is being boxed in by so many."
"Trump is experiencing what Mueller and company can orchestrate," Bulger said in a separate letter last September, according to NBC. "(Mueller) should observe biblical saying – 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.'"
Mueller worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston in the 1980s and was the FBI director when the agency was accused of protecting mob leaders such as Bulger.
Known as one of the nation's most notorious criminals and fugitives, Bulger – nicknamed “Whitey” for his bright platinum hair – was the head of a violent South Boston crime ring known as the Winter Hill Gang from the 1970s into the 1990s. He had eluded law enforcement for 16 years before he was arrested in Santa Monica, California in 2011.
Bulger was bludgeoned to death at the Hazelton federal penitentiary in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia on Oct. 30, 2018. No one has been charged with his murder. He was 89 years old.
His political leanings had been largely unknown, according to NBC, until Uhlar shared the letters. In other letters that touched on national politics, Bulger wrote:
► "Media is a bigger problem than Trump. Through U.S. history the media's hunger for scoops and headlines has cost the lives of U.S. servicemen. Can cite examples."
►"I get some strange mail at times — a grandmother from Kansas — hates Trump wants him 'impeached.' She assumes I hate him? Why Because I'm in prison?"
►In that same letter, he goes onto reference allegations that Trump paid off two women with whom he had extramarital affairs including Stormy Daniels: "My bet is he's happy with present wife and settled down. No way would he wind up in Oval Office with a Monica Lewinsky — That was a scandal! Same media that attacks Trump would cover up for Bill Clinton."
►He also praised conservative pundits Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. Bulger wrote: "Trump is fortunate to have loyalty of [conservative commentator Bill Cunningham], Rush Limbaugh + Hannity AKA 'Little Rush,'"
►At the end of one letter, he wrote: "Smile. Wonder if Mueller thinks of me? Give my regards to the President!"
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Whitey' Bulger praised Trump, bashed Mueller in letters from prison before he died last year