US President Donald Trump confirmed on Sunday that he has no plans to sack FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the “Russia collusion” probe, recently marred by conflicts of interest and improper conduct claims.
Trump echoed various Republican officials who said over the weekend that he was not considering Mueller’s dismissal. “No, I’m not,” Trump said upon returning from a trip to Camp David.
With new accusations brought against the investigators by Trump’s transition team lawyer on Saturday, a number of high-profile White House officials came forward to tell the media that the president was not entertaining the option.
In a letter to Congress on Saturday, the lawyer, Kory Langhofer, alleged that Mueller’s office had violated the US constitution by “unlawfully” obtaining troves of emails from a government agency that hosted the transition team’s servers. The emails reportedly included confidential lawyer to client communication.
According to Langhofer, “tens of thousands” of emails were inappropriately managed by the General Service Administration, which handed over the emails without notifying the transition team.
Mueller was quick to dismiss the allegations, with his spokesman Peter Carr arguing on Sunday that the Special Counsel’s office followed due procedure when he sought the emails. “When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process,” he said, as cited by CNN.
Trump said the allegations were “not looking good. It’s quite sad to see that. My people are very upset about it. I can’t imagine there’s anything on ’em, frankly, because as we said, there’s no collusion.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning that he doesn’t have “any reason to believe” Trump was going to fire Mueller. Noting that Mueller’s fate is ultimately still up to Trump, he dubbed the embattled probe “a giant distraction.”
Another senior Trump aide, director of legislative affairs March Short, told NBC: “There’s no conversation about that whatsoever” in the president’s circles.
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