What the acting attorney general thinks of the Mueller probe

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More than 300 demonstrators flooded Portland's Monument Square on Thursday evening to protest President Trump's decision to oust Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replace him with Matthew Whitaker, a presidential loyalist who has openly criticized special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether anyone in Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russian Federation to influence the election.

"I don't know Matt Whitaker", said Mr. Trump, who promoted Mr. Whitaker Wednesday after firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Whitaker has questioned Mueller's authority to investigate aspects of Trump's election campaign and suggested how to end the investigation: by cutting its budget.

As the top official at the Justice Department, Whitaker is now in charge of the Mueller probe because he outranks Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who took charge due to Sessions' recusal.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, who has already called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation, said it is "paramount" that Trump's new attorney general protect the Mueller investigation. After Democrats won control of the House in the midterms, Trump appears to be setting up the pieces to undermine Robert Mueller's special investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"No matter who I put in, they go after him", he said.

Trump had repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from any investigation into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Hundreds of people gathered at Portland's waterfront to criticize President Trump.

"The [midterm] election results had barely come in, and Donald Trump railroaded his attorney general into resigning" Wyden said. Since his appointment, past comments Whitaker made about Mueller's investigation have been played regularly on some cable news stations.

"We're not shedding any tears for, nor are we protesting for, Jeff Sessions".

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'I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it.

Whitaker, a former US attorney who worked most recently as Sessions's chief of staff, has publicly criticized Mueller's investigation as too broad.

Both Whitaker and Clovis are rooted in Iowa politics, and both ran for the 2014 Republican Senate nomination.

In a letter saying the move placed the country "in the throes of a constitutional crisis", House Judiciary Committee Democrats demanded action from the panel's Republican Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and called for bipartisan legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from any effort to stymie the probe.

"The fact (Trump) passed over Rosenstein to appoint someone else who has been critical (of the probe) certainly raises concerns", King said during a stop in Oakland.

"Trump's actions are being compared with those of U.S. President Richard Nixon in one of the most controversial episodes of the Watergate scandal, the Saturday Night Massacre", said organizers. "What happened immediately after, Trump has taken the step of putting someone in place, that's an illegal step".

Mueller is writing a report about his investigative findings, according to one official.

However, the ACLU had a few other choice departing words for the now former Attorney General.

Activists across the Bay Area Thursday evening were protesting President Donald Trump's replacement of his attorney general after embattled former Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned on Wednesday.