President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller is "going to be fair" in his investigation into possible collusion between Trump's team and Russian officials.
His comments -- made during an interview with The New York Times -- come after Republicans and supporters of Trump had raised questions over Mueller and his investigative team.
Several Republicans, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, have called for the removal of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe -- a move Democrats have argued is an effort to undermine Mueller as his investigation ramps up and to give Trump cover should he try to remove Mueller, a step the White House insists is not on the table.
Trump said the investigation "makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position. So the sooner it's worked out, the better it is for the country."
The President was also asked if former President Barack Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, was more loyal than his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions.
"I don't want to get into loyalty, but ... I will say this: Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him," Trump responded. "When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the President. And I have great respect for that, I'll be honest."
Trump again said in the interview that it was "too bad" Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation.
Asked if he would order the Justice Department to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, Trump told the Times: "I have the absolute right to do what I want with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I'm going to be treated fairly, I've stayed uninvolved with this particular matter."
More Americans said they approve of how Mueller is handling the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election than said they disapprove, a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS found last week.
A majority of Americans said they disapprove of Trump's handling of the same investigation, while just a third said they approve -- a result that has held fairly steady over the last five months of CNN surveys.