President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his decision to fire former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is leading the probe into possible ties between his campaign and Russia, saying the FBI was a friend of the U.S. and he was not worried about the probe’s implications.
In a tweet, Trump wrote: “The real story is why did Bob Mueller, a friend and patriot, NOT go after my campaign.
Thats a totally different story!”
Trump, who has often been criticized for not doing enough to root out Russian interference in the 2016 election, did not say whether he would have fired Mueller himself, but he did say he was “happy” to let Mueller do his job.
“As a matter of fact, I’m glad that Robert Mueller was let go because that is a totally separate story.
But I was very happy that he was let gone, and he has done a fantastic job,” Trump said.
“I am very, very happy with him, very, many, many people that I’ve appointed and have appointed, Robert Mueller has done an amazing job.”
Trump and his allies have called for a special prosecutor to investigate possible ties to the Russian government, which Moscow has denied meddling in the election.
Mueller was appointed in May to oversee the investigation after former FBI director James Comey was fired amid pressure from Trump and the Justice Department over his handling of the Russia probe.
Trump said Mueller was “a very good man,” adding that “he was respected by me and by many others” before the FBI fired him.
Mueller’s firing, which came in the middle of the Justice Dept. investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia, has left Trump furious, and some Republicans have said he should resign.
“Robert Mueller is a friend,” Trump tweeted Sunday.
“He was a great friend to me and I consider him a friend, not a partisan.
I want him out.
I think he is a very good guy, but I’m not a fan of him.
I’ve said that, but we’ll see what happens.”
Trump’s statement Sunday followed a White House statement that said Mueller had been fired because he was overseeing the investigation.
Trump has repeatedly said that he fired Mueller to stop the Russia investigation, which he believes is politically motivated.
Mueller has been overseeing the FBI’s probe into Russian interference.