Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons'
© Greg Nash

A former attorney for President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE said Monday that Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE understood that Trump had to criticize the special counsel's investigation into Russian election interference.

“I talked to Bob [Mueller] about that, and said, ‘Do you understand what’s going on?’” John Dowd said on "Fox & Friends," referring to Trump repeatedly calling the probe a “witch hunt.”

“[Mueller] said, ‘Oh it’s political. He has to do that for political reasons,' ” Dowd added. 

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“He said, 'There’s one thing I’m worried about, I don’t want to scare off witnesses.' So I said, 'I’ll tell you what, the president and I will say publicly, "cooperate with Bob Mueller," so that was it,' ” Dowd added.

Dowd, who was the president's lead attorney on issues related to the investigation, abruptly resigned in March 2018.

He reportedly clashed with the president over whether Trump should sit down for an interview with Mueller.

The special counsel's redacted report on the 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was released to the public last week.

It confirmed that Mueller's team did not find evidence proving Trump's 2016 campaign coordinated with the Kremlin.

It also detailed 10 potential instances of obstruction of justice, but did not make a criminal determination on the issue.

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDemocrats to seek ways to compel release of Trump whistleblower complaint Democrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt The Hill's 12:30 Report: Questions swirl around Trump whistleblower complaint MORE and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Nadler's House committee holds a faux hearing in search of a false crime House Democrats seeking Sessions's testimony in impeachment probe MORE decided not to pursue obstruction charges after reviewing the report last month.