Two Republican senators urged Donald Trump to stop talking about Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion with Russia, following allegations that he may have attempted fire Mueller last year, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.
Making the rounds of the Sunday-morning news programs, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine both separately urged Trump to dial back his repeated public statements about Mueller and the Russia probe, both to news reporters and on social media.
Collins, appearing on both CNN’s State of the Union and CBS’ Face the Nation, urged the president to keep any thoughts he may have about the ongoing investigation between himself and his lawyer.
“I think the president would be best served by never discussing the investigation, ever, whether in tweets, except in private conversations with his attorney.”
Graham, appearing on ABC’s This Week, was more circumspect that Collins, indirectly urging Trump to stay out of the Mueller investigation.
“I haven’t yet seen any evidence of collusion between President Trump and the Russians, but the investigation needs to go forward without political interference, and I’m sure it will.”
Collins’ and Graham’s rounds of the Sunday-morning news show circuit in light of recent allegations that Trump had attempted to fire Robert Mueller. As the New York Times and other news outlets reported last week, Trump had allegedly attempted to fire Mueller last June.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 29, 2018
Specifically, Trump wanted to fire Mueller over a dispute about golf club fees that Trump claimed Mueller owed him. Further, Trump wanted Mueller to recuse himself from the investigation because he (Mueller) worked for the same law firm that was representing Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, in another matter.
However, according to reports, Trump backed off from his desire to fire Mueller once White House lawyer Don McGahn threatened to resign in protest if Trump moved forward with the firing.
Collins supports legislative efforts to specifically protect Mueller from being fired by Trump. As the Hill reports, while the topic of introducing legislation that would forbid Trump from filing Mueller has been discussed in Washington, few Republicans see the urgency. Republican Scott Taylor of Virginia, for example, says the Mueller investigation should “take its course.”
“You know, I think if people have a problem with lawmakers politically calling for the firing of Mueller then they should have equally a problem with lawmakers calling to protect him, politically.”
Graham, who supports such legislation, said he would be “glad to pass it tomorrow,” said also that he doesn’t believe that Mueller’s job is in danger any time soon. What’s more, he says, if Trump fired Mueller, it would immediately and unambiguously bring about “the end of the Trump presidency.”
Trump, for his part, continues to insist that reports that he attempted to fire Mueller are “fake news.”