Trump assails Mueller, drawing rebukes from Republicans
President Trump appeared on Sunday to abandon a strategy of deferring to the special counsel examining Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, lashing out at what he characterized as a partisan investigation and raising questions about whether he might seek to shut it down, New York Times reports.
Mr. Trump has long suggested that allegations that he or his campaign conspired with Russia to influence the election were a “hoax” and part of a “witch hunt,” but until this weekend he had largely heeded the advice of lawyers who counseled him not to directly attack Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for fear of aggravating prosecutors.
Now as Mr. Mueller extends his inquiry with a subpoena to the Trump Organization evidently in search of business ties with Russia, the president appears to be losing his patience. While his lawyers had reassured him that the investigation would wrap up by Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then early in the new year, it seems increasingly clear that Mr. Mueller is not about to conclude his inquiry any time soon.
“Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans?” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning. “Another Dem recently added...does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!”
The attack on Mr. Mueller, a longtime Republican who was appointed F.B.I.director under a Republican president, George W. Bush, followed a statement by Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer published Saturday calling on the Justice Department to end the special counsel investigation. Mr. Trump followed up that evening with a tweet arguing that “the Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime.”