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Collins: 'Wouldn't hurt' for Congress to protect Mueller

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said on Sunday that Congress should pass legislation to protect special counsel R...

Posted: Jan 29, 2018 3:14 AM
Updated: Jan 29, 2018 3:14 AM

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said on Sunday that Congress should pass legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller following reports President Donald Trump considered firing him last June.

But at the same time, Collins said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" that she ultimately had faith in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has direct authority over the probe.

"It probably wouldn't hurt for us to pass one of those bills," Collins said, adding, "There are some constitutional issues with those bills, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to put that extra safeguard in place given the latest stories, but again, I have faith in the deputy attorney general."

Collins' comments came in response to news that last June Trump moved to fire Mueller, and that White House counsel Don McGahn refused the order. Collins said Sunday she understood the episode to be Trump having a "bad idea."

"He talked with his counsel, who explained to an angry and frustrated president why it was a bad idea," Collins said. "And that was seven months ago and the White House counsel is still on the job, and Mr. Mueller is still aggressively investigating, and that's as it should be."

8 times since June the White House denied Trump was considering firing Mueller

Collins said likewise that firing Rosenstein would be a "terrible mistake" and would recall the "Saturday Night Massacre," where then-President Richard Nixon sought to remove the special prosecutor investigating him, prompting leaders of the Justice Department to resign rather than quash the probe.

"That didn't end very well," Collins said, alluding to Nixon's eventual resignation in disgrace.

In a separate interview on the same program, West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said it sounded like Trump "blew off" about the investigation, but that it would be "premature" for Congress to debate protections for Mueller.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, made a similar case on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I don't think there's a need for legislation right now to protect Mueller," McCarthy said. "Right now, there is not an issue, so why create one when there isn't a place for it?"

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said on ABC's "This Week" that he saw "no evidence" Trump is currently trying to fire Mueller, but pointed to legislation he has sponsored to protect the special counsel.

"It's pretty clear to me that everybody in the White House knows it'd be the end of President Trump's presidency if he fired Mr. Mueller," Graham said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10409104
Hinds10279202
Harrison7313112
Jackson6566128
Rankin5887106
Lee529496
Madison5014107
Forrest389786
Jones369088
Lauderdale3594147
Lafayette338253
Washington3246108
Lamar297850
Oktibbeha252362
Lowndes247064
Bolivar244384
Panola232653
Neshoba2249121
Marshall222851
Leflore208591
Monroe206778
Pontotoc204231
Lincoln197366
Sunflower192655
Warren180258
Tate177751
Union171926
Copiah167940
Pike165359
Yazoo160140
Scott159430
Itawamba157635
Alcorn155628
Pearl River155368
Coahoma152743
Simpson152653
Prentiss151331
Adams144752
Grenada143345
Leake139744
Holmes133461
Covington128639
Tippah128430
George128325
Winston125526
Hancock124341
Wayne121323
Marion119446
Attala119334
Tishomingo112443
Chickasaw109432
Newton108229
Tallahatchie98127
Clay94727
Clarke93653
Jasper85223
Stone80615
Calhoun78713
Walthall77629
Montgomery76926
Carroll74115
Lawrence73814
Smith73216
Yalobusha73128
Noxubee72717
Perry68326
Tunica62619
Greene61522
Jefferson Davis59017
Claiborne58916
Amite56615
Humphreys54719
Benton50018
Quitman5007
Webster46714
Kemper45018
Wilkinson40522
Jefferson37112
Choctaw3617
Franklin3555
Sharkey32417
Issaquena1204
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 252900

Reported Deaths: 3638
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33526501
Mobile20103365
Madison13723151
Tuscaloosa13366154
Montgomery12552236
Shelby1079677
Baldwin9051137
Lee787266
Morgan696451
Calhoun6598121
Etowah656167
Marshall647357
Houston541038
DeKalb498137
Cullman462443
St. Clair441956
Limestone440445
Lauderdale426754
Elmore421164
Walker3735111
Talladega370157
Jackson340423
Colbert332042
Blount306140
Autauga281842
Franklin257434
Coffee250015
Dale239054
Dallas231532
Chilton228939
Russell22663
Covington225034
Escambia202331
Tallapoosa187291
Chambers182750
Pike161514
Clarke161019
Marion144736
Winston137523
Lawrence133436
Pickens126518
Geneva12508
Marengo123424
Bibb120418
Barbour118911
Butler118642
Randolph105522
Cherokee105124
Hale98131
Fayette94616
Washington93219
Clay92824
Henry8896
Monroe83011
Lowndes80929
Cleburne78814
Macon75522
Crenshaw72230
Bullock70119
Lamar7018
Conecuh70014
Perry6916
Wilcox64818
Sumter58622
Greene43518
Choctaw43114
Coosa3664
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