Trump signals cooperative approach with Mueller is fading

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"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud", Ellis told Mueller prosecutor Michael Dreeben, as he accused the special counsel of pursuing Manafort in the hope it would lead to "prosecution or impeachment" of Trump.

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"The Russia Witch Hunt is rapidly losing credibility", he tweeted.

Amid hilarious jokes that followed over how many false claims Trump would have paid from his porn star pay off fund, particularly after Giuliani said there may have been more women Trump had paid off, he made the more serious assertion of executive privilege while arguing that the President does not have to comply with a subpoena from Mueller and he can not rule out the White House occupant taking the fifth - a constitutional right that allows citizens to decline self-incriminating testimony.

Since Donald Trump continues to waver about his intention to give Robert Mueller an interview, his staff is simultaneously preparing the president to answer Mueller's questions while making the case that he couldn't possibly be asked to do something so demanding.

On Monday, Trump seized on Giuliani's message, focusing on what he sees as the conflicts of interest on Mueller's team.

Trump appeared to be drawing attention to a federal judge's questioning last week of Mueller's authority in a case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

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Trump warned Republicans they "better get tough and smart before it is too late!"

The former director said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation could have done more to help guide Trump on protocols that exist between the Justice Department and the White House, but he said the president seemed "totally uninterested" in learning about such protocols.

In his tweets, Trump also took issue with Mueller's investigation into whether he obstructed the Russian Federation investigation.

Trump's tweets on Monday could reflect this change in strategy.

"In light of the Special Counsel's public acknowledgement of the August 2 memo, the government has been assessing whether the acknowledgment alters its prior response to Request No. 3 [for documents describing the scope of Mueller's authority] of the FOIA request at issue in this suit, and processing the August 2 memorandum to determine if it can release additional portions that have not already been filed publicly, but needs some additional time to complete these tasks", the DOJ admitted.

In congressional testimony, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has defended Mueller's team against criticism that it was politically tainted.

Rosenstein has said that Mueller handled the matter appropriately.

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