Trump has sent messages 'back and forth' with Mueller, attorney says

President Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who reportedly impaneled a grand jury in the investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential election, have sent messages “back and forth,” according to the president’s outside counsel.

In an interview with USA Today, Trump’s chief counsel John Dowd said he's sent the messages on behalf of the president, who “appreciates” Mueller’s work. Dowd reiterated to Fox News that the communications have been professional.

“He appreciates what Bob Mueller is doing. He asked me to share that with him and that’s what I’ve done,” Dowd told USA Today. “The president has sent messages back and forth.”

FILE - In this June 21, 2017, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington. A 2001 Justice Department memo warned that no nation, including the United States, was immune from the threat posed by Russian organized crime. The special counsel investigation is bringing attention to Russian efforts to meddle in democratic processes, the type of intelligence gathering that in the past has relied on hired hackers. It’s not clear how much the probe by Mueller will center on the criminal underbelly of Moscow, but he’s already picked some lawyers with experience confronting organized crime. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

FILE - In this June 21, 2017, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington. A 2001 Justice Department memo warned that no nation, including the United States, was immune from the threat posed by Russian organized crime. The special counsel investigation is bringing attention to Russian efforts to meddle in democratic processes, the type of intelligence gathering that in the past has relied on hired hackers. It’s not clear how much the probe by Mueller will center on the criminal underbelly of Moscow, but he’s already picked some lawyers with experience confronting organized crime. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) (AP)

A spokesman for Mueller told Fox News that there have been communications among special counsel attorneys and the president’s outside legal team, as well as the president’s special counsel, Ty Cobb. The spokesman told Fox News those communications have been “very professional” and “very cooperative from both sides.”

The special counsel’s team is now stacked with 16 attorneys.

Last week, Mueller reportedly impaneled a grand jury, which was seen as a sign the investigation into election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign was ramping up to enter a new phase. Grand jury subpoenas reportedly were issued in connection with the meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with a Russian lawyer and her associates last year.

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Cobb said last week that he wasn’t aware Mueller had impaneled a new grand jury but added, “We favor anything that brings this investigation to a swift conclusion.”

Cobb also told reporters, “Grand jury matters are typically secret,” and the White House is “committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”

Despite cooperation and the president’s apparent “appreciation,” he and allies have openly criticized Mueller. The president has repeatedly referred to the investigation as a “witch hunt.”

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Lawmakers have responded with legislation proposals that would shield Mueller from being fired.

Fox News' John Roberts contributed to this report.