President Donald Trump held a little impromptu news conference when he returned back to the White House Sunday night and insisted he won’t be firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. “No, I’m not,” Trump said when he was asked whether he is considering firing Mueller. “What, are you surprised?”
The commander in chief did make it clear though that he isn’t happy about the way Mueller obtained emails from his transition team as part of his investigation. “Not looking good, it’s not looking good. It’s quite sad to see that. My people were very upset about it,” Trump said. “I can’t imagine there’s anything on them frankly because as we’ve said there’s no collusion, there’s no collusion whatsoever but a lot of lawyers thought that was pretty sad.”
Earlier in the day, White House Legislative Director Marc Short told NBC’s Chuck Todd that there had been “no conversation about that whatsoever in the White House” about firing Mueller. When Todd pressed the issue, Short complained the press keeps “bringing that up” even though the administration “has continued to cooperate in every single possible way with that investigation.” Still, Short also criticized Mueller’s investigation, noting that “taxpayers have spent millions and millions of dollars on this investigation and it has not yet proven any sense of collusion with the Russians. I think the American people are ready to turn the page.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also denied there had been any firing talk. “I was at dinner last night with the President and Vice President. I haven’t heard anything about this, any firing,” Mnuchin said on CNN’s State of the Union. He also criticized Mueller’s probe though, characterizing it as “a giant distraction.”
Despite the denials from the White House, Democrats have been expressing concern that Trump is getting ready to fire Mueller. Former Attorney General Eric Holder took to Twitter Sunday to call for “mass, popular, peaceful” protests if Mueller is “removed” or his investigation is “meaningfully tampered with.”
One more thing
You depend on Slate for sharp, distinctive coverage of the latest developments in politics and culture. Now we need to ask for your support.
Our work is more urgent than ever and is reaching more readers—but online advertising revenues don’t fully cover our costs, and we don’t have print subscribers to help keep us afloat. So we need your help. If you think Slate’s work matters, become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.Join Slate Plus