GOP to Trump: Don’t fire Mueller, Rosenstein
WASHINGTON – Leading Republicans urged President Trump Sunday not to fire the special counsel investigating his actions or the deputy attorney general who supervises the inquiry.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said special counsel Robert Mueller “should be left to do his job.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he sees no basis for firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein despite Trump’s ire about a new investigation Rosenstein authorized of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said bipartisan legislation nearing a vote in the Senate would “send a very strong message that we do not want Mr. Mueller’s investigation interfered with in any way.”
The Republican lawmakers’ warnings represented the latest push back against Trump’s Twitter tirades, which the president resumed Sunday morning by attacking former FBI director James Comey.
Ryan, speaking on NBC’s Meet the
Press, said, “These career professionals should be left to do their jobs.” He said legislation designed to protect Mueller, which is slated to be voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee soon, may not be needed.
“I don’t think he’s going to fire Mueller. I think it would be a huge mistake,” Ryan said. “First of all, I don’t think he should be fired . ... And I don’t think they’re really contemplating this.”
Ryan acknowledged that although he and Trump have agreed on issues, such as tax cuts and military defense, they “have different styles” when it comes to public statements. Trump called Comey a “slimeball.”
“It’s a big-tent party,” Ryan said, “and we represent different corners of the tent.”
On Fox News Sunday, Gowdy said Mueller had little choice but to refer matters involving Cohen to the U.S. attorney in Manhattan after coming across “potential criminality.”
Collins said on ABC’s This Week that firing Mueller wouldn’t help Trump, because “the investigation is still going to go on.”
Former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump, said on CNN’s
State of the Union the president’s tweets work against him.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said special counsel Robert Mueller “should be left to do his job . ... I don’t think (Trump’s) going to fire Mueller.” AFP/GETTY IMAGES