Vice President Mike Pence claims that special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia inquiry is not a "focus" of his or his boss, President Trump.
Speaking with Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Wednesday, Pence said the Trump administration is "fully cooperating with the special counsel and we’ll continue to."
"But I’ve got to tell you," he added, "it’s just not been a focus of mine or of this president."
.@VP on Mueller investigation: "We're fully cooperating with the special counsel and we'll continue to. It's just not been a focus of mine or of [@POTUS.]" @IngrahamAngle pic.twitter.com/i3AFCumVwR— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 21, 2017
Despite Pence's comments, Trump has repeatedly railed against the Mueller probe looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, calling it a "witch hunt."
The investigation has ramped up in recent months, leading to indictments and a notable guilty plea from former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who parted ways with the White House in February after it was revealed he misled Pence about his communications with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
The Mueller team has also interviewed a number of White House officials, including communications director Hope Hicks and counsel Don McGahn, and members of Trump's family.
Republicans and allies of the president were miffed by the recent revelation Peter Strzok, a top FBI counterintelligence agent who was part of Mueller's team, exchanged anti-Trump texts with Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who had also been assigned to the Mueller probe. Strzok was removed after Mueller discovered the texts and Page too is no longer part of the investigation.
Democrats have warned Trump against firing Mueller, amid rumors he plans to do so. The White House and Trump have denied having any such plans.
Meanwhile Pence is being pressed by House Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., to authorize the FBI to turn over documents relating to the security clearance application of Michael Flynn Jr., Flynn's son, who worked in the Trump transition team led by Pence.
Despite the Mueller mania in Washington, Pence was keen to redirect focus on Trump's goals and accomplishments, including the success of the Republican tax reform plan passed by Congress and awaiting Trump's signature.
Pence asserted that the Trump administration has its sights fixed "where the American people are focused" and not "whatever Washington, D.C., has been focused on."