In response to the statement, former US Attorney Preet Bharara, whom Trump fired in March, tweeted early Friday morning that "Americans should also exercise caution before accepting as true lies about firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director & defamation of a war hero special counsel", references to criticisms Trump has levied against Mueller and James Comey.
Several White House officials and Trump associates insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the president's views of the unfolding investigation. They are former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, his business partner Rick Gates, a national security adviser Carter Page, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and informal Trump adviser Roger Stone.
Considering that Trump strong-armed Rosenstein into writing a letter about Comey's performance in the first place - a letter that never actually recommended the ex-FBI director's firing - and that Rosenstein didn't know POTUS would use the letter as his justification for the decision, it's easy to see how dude would be annoyed.
And attacked his own deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein (who now might resign or recuse himself). The White House has said Trump has "no intention" of dismissing Mueller, however.
On Thursday an aide to Vice President Mike Pence revealed he was hiring Richard Cullen - a veteran of the Iran-Contra investigation, Watergate and the 2000 vote recount in Florida - as a private lawyer. And Trump himself took aim at the senior Justice Department official responsible for appointing Mueller, accusing him on Twitter of leading a "Witch Hunt". "We're not and the only person responsible for that is the president with these very controversial tweets today", he said. "We can not allow the President to choose who will conduct this investigation or to interfere with its progress in any way".
Mr. Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential election and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates with the Russians, but there has been no indication that Mr. Mueller told Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Comey. Sad!" he wrote. "Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic & jobs numbers are great.
Yet Trump's angry tweets on Friday underscored the near-impossible challenge his advisers and legal team have in trying to get him to avoid weighing in on an active probe. "I can go around them". He's also hired Andrew Weissmann, who led the Enron investigation.
But Trump is assured of the vast power his social media presence has to sway public opinion in his favor.
"He's in for a rude awakening" if he thinks he can shut down the investigation that way, said Feinstein. Mueller is now leading the investigation into whether Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Ditching derogatory rhetoric about the Washington "swamp", Trump rallied in support of his fellow politicians and called on the country to pull together. He has questioned why investigators don't dig into the links between the Democrats and the Russian government, including his general election opponent, Hillary Clinton.