President Donald Trump on Monday continued his attacks against special counsel Robert Mueller and his team as he sought to downplay weekend reports that his White House counsel cooperated extensively with Mueller’s probe.
He also accused Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election of seeking to undermine Republicans’ forthcoming electoral fortunes, less than 80 days before voters cast their ballots in the November midterm elections.
“Disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller and his whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs spent over 30 hours with the White House Councel, only with my approval, for purposes of transparency,” he wrote in a series of tweets Monday morning.
He continued, “Anybody needing that much time when they know there is no Russian Collusion is just someone looking for trouble. They are enjoying ruining people’s lives and REFUSE to look at the real corruption on the Democrat side - the lies, the firings, the deleted Emails and soooo much more! Mueller’s Angry Dems are looking to impact the election. They are a National Disgrace!”
Trump ratcheted up his already frequent attacks on the special counsel after The New York Times reported over the weekend that White House counsel Don McGahn had cooperated extensively in nearly 30 hours of interviews. On Sunday, the Times reported that the President’s legal team does not know the extent to which McGahn has been cooperating.
McGahn’s attorney did not give Trump’s lawyers a full accounting of McGahn’s interviews with the special counsel’s team, a person familiar with the matter tells CNN.
Trump’s attorneys did not ask for a complete debriefing, the person said. A source told CNN that McGahn did not provide information that would be incriminating to the President.
Trump’s tweets on Monday also come ahead of the third day of jury deliberations in the case of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, the first case brought to trial by Mueller, even though Manafort’s alleged crimes occurred before he ran Trump’s campaign.
The trial carries major implications for the future of the Mueller investigation. Trump has repeatedly called the probe a “witch hunt” that hasn’t found evidence of collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and his allies in and out of the White House say the special counsel should wrap up the investigation.
As Trump has attempted to discredit Mueller, however, a CNN poll released last week found that public approval for the special counsel is on the upswing. Forty-seven percent of respondents now say they approve of his handling of the Russia investigation, up from 41% in June. Sixty-six percent say Mueller should try to complete his investigation before the election.
CNN’s Caroline Kelly, Katelyn Polantz, Dan Berman, Marshall Cohen, Liz Stark, Kara Scannell and Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.