Trump: 'Mueller probe should never have been started'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE asserted on Saturday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia should never have been opened in the first place.

"The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime," Trump wrote on Twitter.

"It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the [Democratic National Committee], and improperly used in [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!"

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The tweet came hours after Trump's lawyer, John Dowd, released a statement calling on Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Rosenstein: 'I never pursued' trying to record Trump Trump vows to get rid of 'stench' at DOJ, FBI MORE, who oversees Mueller's investigation, to shut down the probe.

Dowd initially told the Daily Beast that the statement was issued on behalf of Trump, but later reversed course, saying it was given in his personal capacity. 

Still, Trump has repeatedly lambasted Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt," arguing that there was no improper contact or coordination between his campaign and Moscow. He reportedly sought last summer to have Mueller fired, but backed down after White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign.

Trump's tweet on Saturday night also came a day after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump vows to get rid of 'stench' at DOJ, FBI NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions House Judiciary on NY Times article: I intend to subpoena 'McCabe Memos' MORE fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeRosenstein: 'I never pursued' trying to record Trump NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions House Judiciary on NY Times article: I intend to subpoena 'McCabe Memos' MORE, arguing that McCabe misled congressional investigators and leaked information to the press. 

McCabe swiftly pushed back on those charges, saying that his ouster was politically motivated and intended to undercut Mueller's investigation into Russia's election meddling.