When special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed by the Department of Justice to head the Russian collusion probe, nobody had any doubt that the former FBI director would soon get to the bottom of the issue. So far the investigation has gone well and key members of the Trump campaign have already been indicted. However, Trump has not fired Mueller yet. The ongoing investigation appears to be getting very close to the White House. But the president remains put.
In an interview with the New York Times, Trump made it clear that he had no intention of firing Mueller. The president also noted that the Russian collusion probe has been a blessing in disguise. Trump says that the allegations have only helped strengthen his core support base and have even prompted a number of congressmen to defend him. Trump added that he was confident that Mueller will treat him “fairly” as he continues with the probe.
The president’s calmness in what would seem to be an uncomfortable situation has caught many by surprise. It was not long ago when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey for his role in the Russian probe. The President called Comey a nut job. It is interesting to note that Comey was just getting started and he was not even close to the accomplishments that Robert Mueller has achieved so far. But Trump was not going to take a chance.
Mueller’s retention is more of a political move than a rational one. After all, the President is on record saying that the investigation had galvanized his core support base. If indeed it was to continue, there is significant political mileage to be realized, especially now that we are heading into the 2018 midterms.
The president maintained that there was no collusion between members of his campaign and Russia. He added that the investigation is nothing but a witch hunt, and in the end, he will be vindicated. Support for Mueller and how he has handled the probe remains massive across the country. According to a poll conducted by CNN, a big percentage of Americans approved Mueller’s actions.
Nonetheless, Mueller has come under fire from various GOP congressmen. For instance, Florida congressman, Rep. Matt Gaetz accused Mueller and his team of staging a “coup d’etat” against the president. The FBI has also been slammed by GOP lawmakers for its perceived role in the Mueller probe. Rep. Francis Rooney from Florida at one time called for a “purge” in FBI upper ranks as Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio termed the bureau as “corrupt.”
Mueller has also been accused of “overreaching” beyond his mandate and making “partisan hires” in his team. GOP lawmakers are hoping to turn the tables, calling on the investigation to also focus on former US president Barack Obama. But Mueller has remained steadfast despite what appears to be a brewing storm. How long he will last in the job is not yet clear but at the moment, the former FBI director has Trump’s blessing.