"I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it. I don't know Matt Whitaker," Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a trip to Paris
In an October 11 interview with Fox News, Trump said "I can tell you Matt Whitaker's a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker."
"Don’t tell me about Whitaker, because Mueller was not Senate confirmed, and Whitaker was, actually," the president said.
The special counsel's office is not subject to Senate confirmation, while the attorney general is. Mueller was also unanimously confirmed by the Senate as FBI director in 2001 and in 2011.
The Senate confirmed Whitaker in 2004 as a U.S. attorney in Iowa, but he left that post in 2009.
Before joining the Justice Department, Whitaker was an outspoken critic of Mueller's investigation and many Democrats and some legal scholars have argued he should recuse himself from leading the probe.
Whitaker last year claimed there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia's interference efforts in the 2016 election, which is the central question of the Mueller probe.
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/415892-trump-have-not-spoken-to-whitaker-about-russia-probeWhitaker has also said he believes Mueller has exceeded the investigation's approved scope and publicly mused about ways he could impede it, including cutting off funding.