Deputy attorney general says Mueller probe not a ‘witch hunt’

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday said that the special counsel’s investigation is not a “witch hunt,” words often used by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBrennan fires new shot at Trump: ‘He’s drunk on power’ Trump aides discussed using security clearance revocations to distract from negative stories: report Trump tried to dissuade Melania from 'Be Best' anti-bullying campaign: report MORE to describe the probe into allegations of potential collusion between his campaign and Moscow. 

Rosenstein defended special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation amid fierce questioning from Democrats and Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee concerning the ongoing probe. 

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“I don’t know exactly what the president meant by that, congressman. The special counsel’s investigation is not a witch hunt,” Rosenstein said in response to Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineSenate Dems introduce bill to block release of 3D printed gun blueprints States sue Trump administration to block 3D printed guns House GOP refuses to boost funding for election security MORE (D-R.I.). 

Still, he stopped short of saying that his statement signaled his disagreement with the president. 

Trump has repeatedly taken to Twitter to describe allegations of potential collusion as a partisan “witch hunt” against him. 

“I do not know what the president meant by that, congressman, I can only answer for myself,” Rosenstein said on Wednesday.

Mueller, who has a broad mandate in his investigation, has already unveiled charges against former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, as well as former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russia contacts.