President Donald Trump’s outgoing lawyer John Dowd told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that Trump approved of a statement the lawyer released over the weekend, calling for an end to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign.
“(Trump) thought it was a good statement. And I still do,” Dowd told the Journal on Thursday, just after he resigned from Trump’s personal legal team.
On Saturday, Dowd released a statement, calling on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to end Mueller’s Russia probe “in light of recent revelations.” Dowd was referencing news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe for his handling of the bureau’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sessions terminated McCabe just hours before he was set to retire from the FBI, compromising his pension.
Initially, Dowd told reporters that he made the statement on behalf of Trump, but later walked that back, saying he was speaking for himself. Later on Saturday, Trump mirrored Dowd’s remarks, tweeting that the investigation “should never have been started.”
While Dowd would not publicly say why he resigned on Thursday, people close to the legal team said Dowd was frustrated by Trump’s decision to add attorney Joseph deGenova to his legal team, according to the Journal. Dowd has denied those claims.