"The [midterm] election results had barely come in, and Donald Trump railroaded his attorney general into resigning" Wyden said.
And so, when Robert Mueller, the special counsel, was later appointed to lead the Russian Federation probe, oversight of that investigation fell to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. "He was always extremely highly thought of, and he still is".
When asked if Whitaker should recuse himself, Prior said, "No, I think there is no reason to recuse".
The President's comments are at odds with the relationship Trump has forged with Whitaker in recent months, even as his opinion of Sessions continued to sour.
Whitaker told CNN in 2017 he could envision a situation where a new attorney general would "reduce (Mueller's) budget so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt".
Trump on Friday lambasted Flake via Twitter over these efforts.
Whitaker, according to sources, is now overseeing everything at the Justice Department, including the Russian Federation investigation - despite calls from Democrats to recuse himself. He added that Whitaker's role heading the Justice Department will be a brief one.
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"Because a reasonable person could question your impartiality in the matter, your recusal is necessary to protect the essential and longstanding independence of the department", the attorneys general said in the letter, which was written by Healey.
The President's move to distance himself from Whitaker is a familiar refrain Trump has used when associates of his have become embroiled in controversy.
"President Trump has fired the attorney general". Before that, he claimed that his indicted former campaign chairman Paul Manafort worked for him for "a very short period of time".
"Are we entering a new culture where every time we have a new president and the establishment doesn't like him that we just investigate until we can find crimes for those surrounding him", Whitaker said.
Mueller's probe looks to establish whether Trump or his campaign actively colluded with them to steal the White House.
But Heide Moore, of Cottonwood, said she wasn't surprised at the turnout.
The president said he is also looking at "other people" to nominate for the permanent position of Attorney General, and will make a decision in the next few weeks.
"We are watching what appears to be continued obstruction by this White House", Pocan said in a telephone interview.