Robert Mueller was told by President Trump's lawyer that his Russia investigation was seriously undermining United States foreign policy.

John Dowd, who was Trump's lawyer from June 2017 until March 2018, said in a podcast with the Washington Examiner’s Byron York that the president believed that Mueller was damaging America on the world stage.

Dowd said that the Mueller investigation was “making [Trump’s] life not only miserable but difficult,” and that Trump told him it was also interfering with his ability to conduct foreign policy. Trump “was particularly worried about foreign affairs,” Dowd said, and Trump wanted his concerns passed along to Mueller.

He said Trump “would share with me an anecdote from a foreign region. And I’m talking about Abe in Japan, the G20, the President of Egypt, the Russians. And then I would share that with Bob [Mueller].”

Dowd said: “He’d be in a meeting and he’d be negotiating some trade deal or some other deal or trying to get an American hostage or a person back to the country — and right at the critical time, the guy on the other side would say, ‘Well Donald, are you even going to be around? What’s going to happen with this investigation?’ And that’s like a punch in the solar plexus."

Mueller, 74, and Dowd, 78, had a natural rapport because both were former US Marines Corps officers. They had known each other for decades. Mueller was wounded in action in Vietnam in 1968 and received a Bronze Star. Dowd was a Marine lawyer and did not go to Vietnam, but his brother Tom was killed there in 1967. Dowd had sons in the Marine Corps.

Dowd praised Trump for his fortitude during the 22 months of the Mueller investigation: “It made his life very difficult, he didn’t like it, but he overcame it … I don’t know how he operated … That would get in the way and it was just incoming fire everyday. He had to deal with it and carry it. It was very difficult.”

He said Trump viewed the Mueller probe as illegitimate “It was a terrible ruse. The whole investigation and the allegations were without basis from the beginning. And that’s now been admitted by [former FBI director James] Comey and the counterintelligence colleagues in the FBI — that they had nothing when they started this … It’s probably he biggest fraud that’s ever been committed against the people of the United States.”

Mueller concluded his investigation last month charge anyone associated with Trump with collusion, although he did not reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice. Attorney General Bill Barr told Congress: “The Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

Barr told Congress last week that a redacted version of the Mueller Report on his investigation into Trump would be made public by mid-April.

With Mueller's report completed, Dowd said, Trump felt a load had been lifted: “Now he’s free of this. It’s off his back."