- President Donald Trump appeared to fire back at his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who came up with a plan to derail the Russia investigation.
- Trump tweeted that he agreed with the “cooperative, disciplined approach” to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
- Bannon had previously suggested that Trump fire the deputy attorney general, stop cooperating with Mueller, and retroactively assert executive privilege.
President Donald Trump on Thursday appeared to shoot down a proposed plan to derail special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, tweeting that he agrees with his lawyers’ strategy to cooperate with the probe.
“I have agreed with the historically cooperative, disciplined approach that we have engaged in with Robert Mueller (Unlike the Clintons!)” he wrote. “I have full confidence in Ty Cobb, my Special Counsel, and have been fully advised throughout each phase of this process.”
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon reportedly pitched West Wing aides a three-part plan to hinder the probe. It would involve firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller probe, ceasing cooperation with investigators, and retroactively asserting executive privilege over the documents and interviews his team has given to Mueller since the investigation began.
“The president wasn’t fully briefed by his lawyers on the implications” of not invoking executive privilege, Bannon told The Washington Post on Wednesday. “It was a strategic mistake to turn over everything without due process, and executive privilege should be exerted immediately and retroactively.”
Yet despite his tweet on Thursday, Trump has reportedly been fuming behind the scenes over the latest twist in Mueller’s investigation.
The FBI on Monday raided the home and office of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and news quickly surfaced that the case had been referred to the Southern District of New York by Mueller’s team, and Rosenstein personally approved the raid.
Trump has also sought to highlight media interviews with prominent legal experts who are critical of Mueller and the Justice Department’s recent actions.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday that Fox News’ Sean Hannity would host a “big show” that evening – it ended up featuring a former federal prosecutor, Joseph diGenova, who urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Rosenstein.
Trump has reportedly privately urged at least one person to go on TV and publicly demand Trump fire Mueller, CBS News’ Jacqueline Alemany reported.