UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said President Trump was sharing his "opinion," not giving an order, when she was asked about the Jeff Sessions tweet at today's briefing.
President Trump said "should," not "must" when he asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Robert Mueller Russia probe, Rudy Giuliani explained to CNN on Wednesday. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is now serving as Trump's attorney, insisted that Trump was not giving an order when he tweeted this:
..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
"We have been saying for months that it is time to bring this inquiry to an end," Giuliani said in a statement to CNN. "The President has expressed the same opinion."
Giuliani also told CNN's Dana Bash that Trump "was expressing his opinion on his favorite medium, Twitter, for asserting his First Amendment rights."
CNN analyst Carrie Cordero questioned that explanation. Anytime Trump pressures a member of his administration, it is "a pattern of activity" that could lead to obstruction of justice charges, she said. Trump apparently forgets that he's not simply weighing in on Twitter as a private citizen. He is serving in a constitutional role, Cordero noted.
Giuliani has also been trying to defend the president from new reports this week that he knew of the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 election. The president denies the claim.