Lawyer Says Trump Has Sent Mueller Private Messages Of ‘Appreciation’

Jae C. Hong/AP

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer on Tuesday claimed Trump has sent special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, private messages of “appreciation and greetings.”

John Dowd, one of the lead attorneys on Trump’s outside legal team, told USA Today that Trump “has sent messages back and forth” but declined to clarify.

“He appreciates what Bob Mueller is doing,” Dowd said. “He asked me to share that with him and that’s what I’ve done.”

Down said the possibility Trump might try to fire Mueller has “never been on the table, never.”

“We get along well with Bob Mueller; our communications have been constructive,” he said. “But it is important that our communications remain confidential. It’s important that there not be any breakdown in that trust.”

It was not clear whether Mueller sent any messages to Trump, and the special counsel’s office did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

Trump’s private communications with former FBI Director James Comey, whose abrupt termination prompted Mueller’s appointment as special counsel, got the President into considerable hot water.

Comey in June testified that during several one-on-one conversations, Trump asked him to pledge “loyalty” and pressed him to close the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Ironically, Trump forcefully criticized a similar private meeting between former President Bill Clinton and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch that took place amid a Justice Department investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

The former President met with Lynch on her plane in June 2016, a subject Trump brought up once again on Tuesday more than a year after the fact, and nine months to the day after he won the presidency.