Trump pushes back on report he 'lashed out' at acting attorney general: 'This is a made up story'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE on Monday pushed back against a report that he "lashed out" at his acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, over charges that federal prosecutors have filed against Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen.

Trump said on Twitter that the report is a "made up story."

"I never 'lashed out' at the Acting Attorney General of the U.S., a man for whom I have great respect," he tweeted. "This is a made up story, one of many, by the Fake News Media!"

CNN reported late last week that Trump was frustrated with Whitaker for overseeing investigations that made Trump look bad and questioned why the acting attorney general didn't do more to curb the prosecutors.


The first time Trump lashed out at Whitaker, according to CNN, came after Cohen earlier this month admitted to lying to Congress regarding discussions with Russia about a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. Those discussions continued into Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Cohen said. 

Cohen entered that guilty plea as part of a deal with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. 

Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York also said in filings against Cohen earlier this month that Trump directed Cohen to make payments during the campaign to two women claiming they had affairs with Trump, in order to buy their silence. Cohen has said he made the payments at Trump's direction.


That also prompted Trump to express anger to Whitaker, CNN reported.

Trump tapped Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general following the forced resignation of former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDo people think ill of Jeff Sessions merely based on the sound of his voice? Appeals court rules Trump administration can withhold grants from 'sanctuary cities' GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE.

Trump has since nominated William Barr to serve as the next attorney general. Both Barr and Whitaker have faced scrutiny for their past criticisms of Mueller's investigation, which Trump has dismissed as a "witch hunt."