USA News World News

Republicans back Robert Mueller, say there’s no rush to shield him from Trump

On Sunday, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on TV they would favor passing legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from President Trump but saw no need to do so now, even after reports that Trump sought to fire Mueller last summer and backed down. “It’s pretty clear to me that everybody in the White House knows it would be the end of President Trump’s presidency if he fired Mr. Mueller,” Graham said on ABC This Week, while Collins told CNN “it would certainly not hurt to put that extra safeguard in place, given the latest stories.” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarty (R-Calif.) was more dismissive of the idea. “Right now there’s not an issue,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press. “So why create one when there isn’t a place for it?”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), on the other hand, said it’s time to act. “The most important thing Congress can do right now is to ensure that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation continues uninterrupted and unimpeded,” he said. Not all Democrats were on board, however. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said it would be “premature for us to go down that road,” confusing NBC’s Chuck Todd by suggesting that Trump’s threats to fire Mueller were just “New York talk” and “New York language.” Mueller got a solid vote of confidence from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), though.

Trump “has a fair investigator” in Mueller, Gowdy told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “The last time you and I were together, I told my Republican colleagues, leave him the hell alone, and that’s still my advice.”