Trump says 'Mueller probe should never have been started' hours after his lawyer called for it to be shut down

  • President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that the special counsel's Russia investigation "should never have been started."

  • The remark came just hours after Trump's personal attorney called for the probe to be shut down.

  • The attorney, John Dowd, first said he was speaking on behalf of Trump, then walked that back.

President Donald Trump said Saturday that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election "should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime."

His comments came just hours after Trump's personal attorney, John Dowd, called for the Russia investigation to be shuttered. Dowd first said the statement was made on behalf of Trump, but later walked that back and said he had spoken in his personal capacity and not as Trump's lawyer.

Trump railed against the Mueller investigation in his tweet, arguing that "it was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!"

The outburst came one day after the FBI's deputy director, Andrew McCabe, was fired, less than 48 hours before he was set to retire with full pension benefits. Earlier on Saturday, Trump had raged in a tweetstorm about McCabe, the Justice Department, the FBI, and its former director, James Comey, whom Trump fired in May.

"The Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife's campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation? How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!"

Attorney General Jeff Sessions purportedly fired McCabe over an investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general, which found that McCabe made unauthorized disclosures to the media during the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails.

But the high-profile firing has been beset by speculation that it was done for political reasons rather than the inspector general's investigation alone.

McCabe said in a Friday night statement that he believed he was "singled out" over the events he witnessed and actions he took after the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired in May.

"The OIG's focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn," McCabe said.

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