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President Donald Trump on Friday said he had not discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the man who Trump appointed this week to oversee the inquiry.
Whitaker has come under increasing scrutiny since his appointment on Wednesday because of his previous criticism of Mueller’s investigation.
Whitaker, a Trump ally, has accused Mueller of “going too far,” and once posted a message on Twitter referring to Mueller’s prosecutors as a “lynch mob.”
He told CNN last year that he could envision a scenario where the person overseeing the probe “reduces [Mueller’s] budget so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.”
People close to the president said that it was Whitaker’s public skepticism of the probe that first drew Trump to take an interest in him, according to a Wednesday report in The New York Times.
The president’s Friday comments were made on the White House South Lawn.
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