Speed Reads

contrary to his tweets

Trump's lawyer claims the president 'appreciates' what Special Counsel Robert Mueller is doing

President Trump may scoff at the ongoing Russia investigation on Twitter, but USA Today revealed Tuesday that Trump has privately sent "messages of 'appreciation'" to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump's chief legal counsel John Dowd confirmed in an interview that he has "been in contact with Mueller's office" on Trump's behalf to send the president's "greetings."

"He appreciates what Bob Mueller is doing," Dowd said. "He asked me to share that with him and that's what I've done." On Twitter and in public statements, however, Trump has deemed Mueller's investigation into Russia's election meddling and the Trump team's potential ties to it a "witch hunt."

Trump's decision to reach out to Mueller is particularly interesting considering he was heavily scrutinized for his private communications with fired FBI Director James Comey. In their talks, Comey claims Trump pushed him to pledge his loyalty and to drop parts of the Russia investigation.

Dowd insisted the Trump team's communications with Mueller have been "proper" and "'constructive.'"