Tuesday, March 20, 2018

White House jokes it might "need to work on our South Carolina members" who support Mueller probe

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: "I don't think we're losing Republicans at all"

Posted by Adam Manno on Tue, Mar 20, 2018 at 4:11 PM


The White House said that it might need to improve its relationship with S.C. members of Congress after two prominent Republicans publicly asked President Trump to let a Department of Justice investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election run its course.

On CNN's "State of the Union," Sen. Lindsey Graham said that if President Trump fired special counsel Robert Mueller, that would mark "the beginning of the end of his presidency."

"The only reason Mr. Mueller could ever be dismissed is for cause," Graham said. "I see no cause when it comes to Mr. Mueller. I pledge to the American people as a Republican, to ensure that Mr. Mueller can continue to do his job without any interference."

Former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed to lead the investigation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March after two previously undisclosed meetings between him and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, came to light.

On "Fox News Sunday," Rep. Trey Gowdy added to the pressure.

"Russia attacked our country," Gowdy said. "Let special counsel Mueller figure that out. And if you believe as we have found, there’s no evidence to collusion, you should want special counsel Mueller to take all the time, and have all the independence he needs to do his job."

President Trump has repeatedly called the investigation into Russian interference a "witch hunt." The probe has slowly closed in on various Trump associates and former employees as part of its investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. The country used social media to heighten tensions on U.S. soil during the 2016 election.

Mueller's team has indicted 13 Russians in connection with election interference in the United States.

"The President has been very clear about the fact that there was no collusion between his campaign and any other entity, but to pretend that going through this absurd process would not bring frustrations seems a little bit ridiculous," said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.

"Maybe we need to work on our South Carolina members," she added with a laugh.

Sanders pushed back on suggestions that fellow Republicans might be taking a more adversarial stance toward the White House.

"I certainly don't think we're losing Republicans at all," she said.

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