WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump kept up his attacks on Robert Mueller's office Monday, saying the special counsel is trying to pin something on him by interviewing the White House counsel for some 30 hours.
"Anybody needing that much time when they know there is no Russian Collusion is just someone looking for trouble," Trump said in a pair of tweets.
Trump, a longtime critic of the special counsel, continued a new line of attack that began over the weekend with news that Mueller's team has, over the past year, interviewed White House counsel Don McGahn.
The president's critics said the tweets are a sure sign that Trump is panicked by Mueller's findings and seeking to undermine the prosecutor ahead of some kind of legal action. They also said the criticisms indicate that Trump will refuse to testify before Mueller, a subject that attorneys for both men have negotiated for months.
In his tweets Monday, Trump said he waived executive privilege in allowing Mueller to speak with McGahn, hoping it would expedite the investigation.
"Disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller and his whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs spent over 30 hours with the White House Councel, only with my approval, for purposes of transparency," Trump tweeted, misspelling McGahn's title.
Trump said prosecutors "are enjoying ruining people’s lives and REFUSE to look at the real corruption on the Democrat side ... They are a National Disgrace!"
In an addendum, Trump denied colluding with Russia and obstructing the investigation.
"Where’s the Collusion? They made up a phony crime called Collusion, and when there was no Collusion they say there was Obstruction (of a phony crime that never existed)," he said. "If you FIGHT BACK or say anything bad about the Rigged Witch Hunt, they scream Obstruction!"
Responding to Trump on Twitter, Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson said, "REMINDER: Trump refuses to testify to the Special Counsel investigation because: 1) His lawyers know he'll lie 2) He's so crooked, scandal-plagued and corrupt that he's essentially taking the 5th 3) both."
The president does not know for sure what kind of information McGahn may have provided to Mueller, who is investigating possible contacts between Trump's presidential campaign and Russians who sought to influence the 2016 election on their behalf.
The renewed attacks on Mueller, a lifelong Republican, come at a pivotal time in the inquiry as a jury is deliberating bank fraud charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Many legal analysts believe Mueller is seeking testimony from Manafort, and a conviction would increase the pressure.
For his part, Trump has defended his former campaign aide and suggested he hopes for an acquittal.
In a steady volley of attacks that have gone on for months now, Trump has complained that Mueller's staff are political partisans. He said they should be investigating opponents who retained a former British spy to investigate Trump's relationship with Russia in the years preceding the 2016 election.