White House puts Mueller on notice after raids

The president and his aides escalated their threats on the special Russia counsel after federal investigators raided the home and office of longtime associate Michael Cohen.

The Trump White House punched back at its own Justice Department on Tuesday, with President Donald Trump and senior officials expressing outrage over law enforcement raids on lawyer Michael Cohen — and making thinly veiled threats to fire Russia special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

“We’ve been advised the president certainly has the power to make that decision,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said when asked whether Trump could fire Mueller, who answers not to the White House but to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Trump began the day tweeting in defense of Cohen, a longtime Trump Organization associate. “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. He added: “Attorney-client privilege is dead!”

A GOP operative close to the White House told POLITICO: “The all-caps tweet, that’s the primal scream. That’s the war cry.”

“He’s losing his shit,” the operative added. “We’re at a different level now.”

Amid the furor, the White House announced earlier Tuesday that Trump would skip an upcoming trip to Latin America and instead stay in Washington. Trump’s decision to scrap this weekend’s long-planned travel to the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, will leave the president largely alone in the White House with little on his schedule, giving him time to stew and watch cable news.

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