President Donald Trump said Monday that the genesis of the Mueller probe into alleged Russian election interference and obstruction of justice was "an attempted coup" that amounted to treason.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump dismissed the report as "phony" and the result of "an illegal investigation."
"Everything about it was crooked," he said. "It was an illegal investigation" launched by "dirty cops."
"This was an attempted coup. This was an attempted take-down of a president."
"This was an illegal witch hunt," he went on to say. Apparently referring to those behind the report, he said, "what they did was treason."
The characterization of the investigation mirrors that recently given by Fox News host and Islamophobe Jeanine Pirro, though the president himself has used the language before.
Last month he suggested those who helped launch the probe had done "treasonous things" and may face retribution. And, back in February, Trump agreed with right wing Fox News guest Dan Bongino's allegation that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe were trying to carry out "an illegal coup attempt."
Attorney General William Barr, however, chose to not echo the president while he was delivering testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.
Responding to Sen. Jack Reed's (D-R.I.) question about whether he'd also call it a "witchhunt," Barr said, "I'm not going to characterize. It is what it is."
Last month, Barr issued a summary of the report, and said it did not have provide evidence of collusion.
Barr likely curried favor with Trump when he told the Senate committee, "I think spying did occur" on the Trump campaign during the 2016 campaign.
"The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I'm not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated. But I need to explore that," he said.
Barr told a House subcommittee on Tuesday that a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report would be made public "within the week."