President Donald Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to shut down special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation Wednesday, prompting a race by the president’s legal team to try to contain the fallout.
“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!” Trump said in a series of tweets.
Trump’s personal lawyers quickly sought to downplay his comments, calling them an expression of his personal opinion — not an order to Sessions that could plunge the country into a political and constitutional crisis. And the Justice Department indicated it would take no action based on Trump’s Twitter venting.
“We have been saying for months that it is time to bring this inquiry to an end,” Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said. “The president has expressed the same opinion.”
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders Wednesday afternoon said Trump’s tweet was not an order, rather the “president’s opinion.”
“The president is not obstructing, he’s fighting back,” Sanders said. “The president has stated his opinion, he’s stating it clearly. He is certainly expressing the frustration he has with the level of corruption that we’ve seen from people like James Comey, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe.”