Trump Says He Backs `Cooperative' Approach to Mueller Probe
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he has “full confidence” in White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who has urged Trump to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, even as outside advisers push a more combative approach.
“I have agreed with the historically cooperative, disciplined approach that we have engaged in with Robert Mueller (Unlike the Clintons!),” Trump said Thursday in a tweet. “I have full confidence in Ty Cobb, my Special Counsel, and have been fully advised throughout each phase of this process.”
The tweet comes as some of Trump’s strongest supporters urge the president to adopt a more aggressive posture toward Mueller’s investigation after FBI agents descended on the office and home of his lawyer Michael Cohen on Monday.
Trump, who called Mueller “conflicted” on Wednesday, has called the FBI raid an “attack on our country.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that Trump was “concerned” with the direction the probe has taken. On Tuesday, Sanders said that the White House had been advised that the president has the authority to fire Mueller.
In a separate Twitter post Thursday, though, Trump denied reports that he had tried to dismiss Mueller last year.
“If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him," Trump said. “Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!”
In recent days, a chorus of Trump supporters outside the White House, including former chief strategist Steve Bannon, said the president should fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller’s probe.
Rosenstein and Trump met at the White House Thursday to discuss routine business, Sanders said in a statement.
Joseph diGenova, a former federal prosecutor who was nearly added to Trump’s legal team last month, said Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should immediately fire Rosenstein.
“Rod Rosenstein is so incompetent, compromised and conflicted, that he can no longer serve as the deputy attorney general,” diGenova said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Hannity” show with host Sean Hannity Wednesday.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also attacked Rosenstein on Wednesday.
“The fact is Rod Rosenstein has not done his job. He has not supervised Mueller. This whole thing is an absurdity,” the former House speaker, another Trump ally, said on Fox News on Wednesday.
As Trump has accelerated his public attacks on Mueller, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation to protect the special counsel from being fired without cause.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.