Donald Trump is not planning to fire FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, White House lawyer Ty Cobb insisted late Sunday night, following a Twitter storm from the president that raised speculation he’s planning on getting rid of the investigator.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Trump on Sunday launched into the Mueller investigation, alleging on Twitter that “the Mueller team [has] 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and zero Republicans.” It’s the first time trump has mentioned Mueller by name, according to Yahoo News.
Politifact rated Trump’s tweet as “Half True.” Some members of Mueller’s team have donated money to Democratic candidates, but the Justice Department bars discrimination in hiring for career positions based on political affiliation. Mueller is a Republican.
The series of Sunday morning tweets got Washington observers once again speculating that the president has his sights on firing Mueller. White House attorney Ty Cobb was quick to shut that speculation down.
“In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the Administration, the White House yet again confirms that the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”
— CNN (@CNN) March 18, 2018
Even as the 45th president was composing his tweets, Republicans were making the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows, urging him not to fire Mueller or to even consider it.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday?, South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy encouraged Trump to let Mueller's investigation reach its logical conclusion.
“Let it play out its course. If you’ve done nothing wrong, you should want the investigation to be as wholesome and thorough as possible.”
Meanwhile, Arizona Senator John McCain took his concerns to social media, tweeting that it’s “critical” that Mueller’s investigation be allowed to continue “unimpeded.”
Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville points out that Trump can’t directly fire Mueller. Rather, Mueller can only be dismissed with cause, and his dismissal would have to come not from Trump, but from deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein, a Trump appointee, has publicly expressed his support for Mueller.
Meanwhile, CNN analyst Chris Cillizza writes that Trump “sure looks like” he’s planning to fire Mueller. Cillizza points out that Trump fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe late Friday night. That firing was followed by a Saturday morning statement from Trump attorney John Dowd calling for Mueller to end his investigation. Then, of course, on Sunday morning was Trump’s tweetstorm against Mueller and the Russia probe.
“That series of events — and tweets — taken in a vacuum, would send a very clear message that Trump is sick and tired of Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 election and the possibility of collusion with the Russians. The President wants this whole thing over with. Now.”
Trump’s associates, meanwhile, report that the president is feeling intense frustration over the entire situation. Trump’s congressional liaison, Marc Short, said that the frustration is “well-warranted” because “there has been no evidence whatsoever of collusion.”