President Trump has harped about the "rigged witch hunt" investigation into his campaign before, but until today he had never directly and publicly asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step in and end it.
The president's Wednesday tweet calling on Sessions to stop the investigation "right now" generated a new wave of criticism from lawmakers who don't think Trump should be outwardly aggressive toward Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Since last year, Mueller has been probing whether the Trump campaign was involved with Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who has supported legislation to protect Mueller's investigation, called Trump's tweet "an attempt to obstruct justice."
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) agreed with Schiff, calling it "inappropriate" and pointing out that Sessions has recused himself from the investigation.
Other lawmakers were also quick to condemn Trump's attempt to get Sessions involved in ending the probe into his campaign, with Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) saying it is one of several examples of Trump obstructing justice, and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) calling it a "direct threat to the rule of law in America." Trump, for his part, followed up his agitated tweet with another, calling the idea of his campaign colluding with Russia a "TOTAL HOAX."