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News Friday, Jul 21 2017

In their own words: GOPers have said firing Mueller would cross a red line

Jul 21, 2017

Republicans, consider yourselves officially on notice. As Donald Trump teeters on the edge of a constitutional crisis, we’re looking at Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator John Cornyn, Senator John Thune, Senator Bob Corker, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Susan Collins, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Thom Tillis, Rep. Peter King, Rep. Chris Collins, Rep. Mark Sanford, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, and Rep. Charlie Dent who have all gone on the record to say that firing special counsel Robert Mueller would cross a red line.  If they backtrack on their words, they should do so with the understanding that they country will hold them accountable.

“Every American must put country first and unite in opposition if Trump acts on this threat to fire Robert Mueller,” said Emily Aden, Rapid Response Director for American Bridge.  “If Republicans from Speaker Ryan and Senator Cornyn down to the rank and file in Congress backtrack on their previous statements on this doomsday scenario, they’ll go down in history as complicit in this scandal just like every other member of the Administration. They should consider themselves on notice; the public is watching and expecting them to finally do the right thing by putting country over party.”


Speaker Paul Ryan Said, “The Best Advice Would Be to Let Robert Mueller Do His Job.” Ryan was asked about Mueller and the president considering firing the special prosecutor. Ryan says, “All I have heard are rumors, but I think it in the best case for the president is to be vindicated by allowing this investigation to go on thoroughly and independently. So, I think the best advice would be to let Robert Mueller do his job.” Ryan was asked if he would still side with the president if he does decide on firing Mueller. Ryan says, “I just said it, I think the best thing to do is to let Robert Mueller do his job. I think the best vindication for the president is to let the investigation go on independently and thoroughly. That to me, is the smartest thing to do, the best thing to do, and that’s what I think hopefully will happen.”  [CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow, 6/13/17]


Sen. Cornyn Said “No Reason” To Fire Mueller.  According to the Hill, “Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee who launched a separate Russia investigation, was asked if he has seen anything that might warrant Trump firing Mueller.  ‘I’ve seen no reason for that,’ Cornyn told reporters. Asked if he trusts Mueller to run the FBI investigation, Cornyn replied: ‘I do.’” [The Hill, 6/13/17]


Sen. John Thune Said Mueller “Needs To Be Able To Do His Work…It’s Better For All Of Us If That Work Continues.”  “And has he done anything so far in the conduct of the investigation that leads you to believe he is conducting a witch hunt?”  “No, he is a man of integrity, Mark, and he needs to be able to do his work,” Thune replied. “And I think it’s better for all of us if that work continues. It’s — obviously he is going to get to the bottom and he is going to find the facts, and I think that’s his role. And I think we ought to let him continue to do that and I assume at some point there will be an end to all this. He’ll have done his investigation and there will be whatever findings there are.” [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 6/15/17]


Sen. Bob Corker Said Firing Mueller Was “An Out-Of-Bounds Thought.” According to BuzzFeed. “‘I can’t give credence to reports of that, it’s such an out-of-bounds thought,’ Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday. ‘I can’t imagine that anyone in the White House is seriously discussing that. So it’s hard for me to even respond in a serious way. It’s beyond possibility to me that anyone is considering taking that kind of action.’” [BuzzFeed, 6/13/17]


Sen. Lindsey Graham Said Firing Mueller Would Be “A Terrible Idea.” According to a tweet from Manu Raju, “Hill pushback: Lindsey Graham tells me that firing Mueller would be ‘a terrible idea;’ Tim Kaine says it would be ‘an admission of guilt’” [Manu Raju, Twitter, 6/13/17]


Sen. Lindsey Graham Said, “There’s No Reason To Fire Mueller.” According to Politico, “Late Monday, PBS’ Judy Woodruff reported that, per a close friend, Chris Ruddy, Trump himself is weighing the prospect of pulling the plug on Mueller’s probe. And one of the president’s lawyers said Sunday that Trump hadn’t taken that option off the table. But that would be a huge mistake, Republican lawmakers said Monday. ‘It would be a disaster,’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ‘There’s no reason to fire Mueller. What’s he done to be fired?’” [Politico, 6/12/17]


Sen. Susan Collins Said Firing Mueller Would “Certainly Be An Extraordinarily Unwise Move.” According to Politico, “On Capitol Hill, Mueller’s appointment seemed to calm nerves after the firing of Comey. A former FBI director who served for 12 years under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Mueller won bipartisan praise last month, when he was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee the Russia probe. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said the notion firing Mueller, would ‘certainly be an extraordinarily unwise move.’”  [Politico, 6/12/17]


Sen. Susan Collins Said It Would Be “Catastrophic” If The Trump Were To Fire The Special Counsel. According to CNN, “Collins said the ramifications for Trump firing Mueller would be huge. ‘It would be catastrophic if the President were to fire the special counsel,’ Collins said.”  [CNN, 7/20/17]


Sen. Marco Rubio on Trump Possibly Firing Mueller, “The Best Thing That Could Happen for the President and the Country Is a Full and Credible Investigation.”  Marco Rubio weighs in on the possibility of Trump firing Mueller, “The best thing that could happen for the President and the country is a full and credible investigation. I really truly believe that. If we want to put all this behind us, let’s find out what happened, put it out there, and let’s not undermine the credibility of the investigation.” [KTVZ (NBC), 6/19/17]


Sen. Marco Rubio Said It Would Be A “Mistake” To Fire Mueller. According to the Hill, “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Thursday it would be ‘a mistake’ for President Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the federal probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Rubio, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters when asked about the topic that ‘it would be a mistake to fire Bob Mueller.’ The GOP senator also praised the former longtime FBI director as being ‘a highly credible individual who will do a good job,’ according to a transcript of his comments from Rubio’s office.” [The Hill, 7/20/17]


Sen. Thom Tillis: “I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with @ValerieJarrett, but I do on this one. We should let Robert Mueller do his job.” [Thom Tillis, Twitter, 6/15/17]


Rep. Peter King: “I Think It Would Taint It More To Remove Him Now.” According to Politico, “Even some of Trump’s closest allies in Congress are warning against any rush to nix the Mueller probe. ‘I think Bob Mueller’s as good as you’re going to find. I don’t see any reason to remove him now,’ said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who has largely defended Trump throughout the investigation into potential Russia ties. Asked whether Comey’s efforts to nudge DOJ to create a special counsel had tainted the probe, King said, ‘I think it would taint it more to remove him now.’” [Politico, 6/12/17]


Rep. Chris Collins Said it Would Be “Disaster, True Disaster” If Trump Fired Mueller. Collins was asked about Trump considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller. Collins says, “I can’t make any sense of it, I think the important thing to note is that it would be a disaster, true disaster if that ever occurred. From what I have heard Rosenstein say, the deputy attorney general, Mueller couldn’t be fired even if someone wanted to so we’ll put this into kind of a bizarre category. Ruddy is saying he didn’t meet with the president, I don’t know why he would have made those statements then. So, what we’ve got to say is it’s not going to happen anyhow.” Collins is asked if he heard the president is actually considering this. Collins says it would be a “political disaster” and that “we’ll leave it to Rosenstein,” who has says “it can’t happen anyway.” [CNN: New Day, 6/13/17]


Rep. Chris Collins Said Firing Mueller Would Be “Ill-Advised.” According to BuzzFeed, “In any case, pushing for Mueller’s firing would be a drastic move, given the uproar that followed Trump’s firing of then-FBI director James Comey last month. ‘At the end of the day it’s ill-advised even if the president could [fire Mueller]. But best we can figure out, he couldn’t anyway,’ said Rep. Chris Collins, Trump’s liaison to Congress.” [BuzzFeed, 6/13/17]


Rep. Mark Sanford Said Firing Mueller Was “A Form Of Political Suicide.” According to the Hill, “‘I think it’s a form of political suicide. If you fire one guy, then you fire another, all of a sudden it begins to look like you’re trying to hide something, look like you have a reason to want the investigations to go away,’ Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), who has criticized Trump at times, told The Hill on Tuesday. ‘It doesn’t pass the smell test. … I think people would go nuts,’ Sanford added.” [The Hill, 6/13/17]


Rep. Adam Kinzinger Said Firing Mueller “Would Obviously Be A Bad Move.” According to BuzzFeed, “Republicans said on Tuesday that it would look terrible for Trump to fire Mueller, whose investigation covers possible collusion between Russia and members of the Trump administration. ‘That would obviously be a bad move. I don’t think he’s really pondering it,’ Rep. Adam Kinzinger said. ‘My thought is more it’s somebody like Newt Gingrich floating it because he’s got a book coming out.’” [BuzzFeed, 6/13/17]


Rep. Charlie Dent Said Mueller Was A “Very Distinguished Man [With] Impeccable Credentials.” According to BuzzFeed, “At a morning press conference, Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy grew frustrated at reporters asking about Mueller, insisting there was no story. ‘You’re creating a rumor that’s not happening,’ said McCarthy. Rep. Charlie Dent called Mueller ‘a very distinguished man [with] impeccable credentials.’ He too said Mueller should be left to conduct his investigation independently.” [BuzzFeed, 6/13/17]


Rep. Charlie Dent: “Let Mr. Mueller Complete His Work.” According to the Hill, “A Republican congressman on Sunday said President Trump should stop tweeting and allow special counsel Robert Mueller to conduct the Russia investigation.  ‘Let Mr. Mueller complete his work,’ Rep Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) told CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’  ‘Less is more. Say little. There’s nothing to say about this if I were president.’” [The Hill, 6/18/17]

Published: Jul 21, 2017

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