Trump Denies Report He Tried to Fire Special Counsel Mueller

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
Special Counsel Robert Mueller. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

President Donald Trump on Thursday denied a newspaper report that he had planned to fire U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller late last year.

Mueller has been tasked with investigating allegations of Russian meddling in 2016 presidential election. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that such interference took place, but Moscow denies it.

Mueller is also investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, which Trump has denied.

Trump has repeatedly attacked the special counsel’s investigation, and on Wednesday he blamed it for Washington’s frosty relationship with Moscow.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that he had tried to fire Mueller in December.

On Thursday, Trump denied that report. “If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him,” he said on Twitter.

A bipartisan group of senators put forward legislation on Wednesday to protect Mueller and his investigation, which the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider next week.