Donald Trump has hit back at claims that he ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller. Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump said: "Fake news. Fake news. Typical New York Times. Fake stories."

The New York Times reported that Trump had ordered Mueller's firing back in June but decided to back down after his own White House counsel threatened to resign in protest.

In 2017, Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed as the special counsel to investigate allegations of collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

He was appointed after Trump fired the director of the FBI, James Comey. Trump said Comey was let go because of "the Russia thing."

Republicans have recently attempted to delegitimise Mueller's investigation, criticising members of his team.

These criticisms have come ahead of speculation that Mueller is preparing to interview Trump himself over his election campaign.

A number of individuals from within and outside the White House have already been charged with various offences. Michael Flynn, former National Security Adviser to Trump has already pleaded guilty to a charge of making false statements to the FBI.

In October, the former chairman of Trump's presidential election campaign, Paul Manafort, was placed under house arrest after being indicted as part of the investigation into Russian collusion at the polls.

Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted on 12 counts of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

Meanwhile, one of Trump's former top campaign advisers, George Papadopoulos has also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during investigations into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally at H&K Equipment, a rental and sales company for specialized material handling solutions on January 18, 2018 in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Trump visited the facility for a factory tour and to offer remarks to supporters and employees following the administration's new tax plan. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images