GOP to Trump: Don’t fire Mueller, Rosen­stein

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - Richard Wolf

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

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