The Russia probe and with it, its investigator, Robert Mueller, have been a thorn in Donald Trump's side for quite some time. According to the New York Times, Trump wanted to fire Mueller back in December. At that time, Donald Trump sought to shut down Mueller's investigation. He was furious over news reports claiming that Mueller's office was about to issue a new series of subpoenas. Reports had suggested that the subpoenas would cover information in relation to the president's dealings with Deutsche Bank.

Eight different white house officials told the New York Times that Trump considered this move as crossing "the red line." When Trump's advisers and lawyers investigated these claims and it transpired that they were inaccurate, the president backed off, so the New York Times reports.

The report also states that Trump had previously tried to get rid of Mueller. In June, Donal F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, had threatened to leave his post over Trump's frequent requests to sack Mueller. These events came to light after reports about searches carried out by the FBI at the office and hotel room of Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen. This, the New York Times believes, indicates that the investigation may well be reaching beyond the remit of the Russian probe.

Why did the FBI carry out search warrants at Michael Cohen's hotel room and offices?

During the searches, FBI agents were looking for documentation relating to women who claim to have had affairs with the president.

In addition, agents were seeking information on the role The National Inquirer played in silencing one of the two women. The president reacted with fury to these searches, telling reporters that authorities had "broke into the office." He went on to call these Mueller's latest move "a total witchhunt" and "a disgraceful situation."

Donald Trump's rage became even more evident when he called the raids "an attack on our country."

White House thinks Trump can sack Mueller

Since Rober Mueller started his investigation, the US president has harshly criticised the investigators' approach, believing it to be overly aggressive and unfair.

In the aftermath of the latest developments, his previous attempts to shut down the investigation and fire the special counsel have been widely reported.

According to the New York Times, his advisers did not believe that the president had sufficient grounds to take action. However, speaking to reporters at the press briefing on Tuesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, said that the president now believes he has the power to sack Robert Mueller.

However, she also said that Donald Trump is currently not considering doing so.

Observers have cast doubt on this, highlighting that the special counsel can only be "disciplined or removed from office by the personal action of the Attorney General." In that sense, remains unclear what other action Donald Trump could take against Robert Mueller.

According to ABC news, Republican leaders in Congress want to see Mueller's investigation come to a conclusion. They are urging the president to let Robert Mueller finish his job. Relations between the two men are at an all-time low. According to ABC News, people close to the president are now no longer sure if he is still willing to be interviewed by the special counsel, despite repeated promises.