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McConnell strongly defends Mueller, criticizes Trump for calling Putin

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell forcefully defended Robert Mueller on Tuesday, saying the special counsel shou...

Posted: Mar 21, 2018 12:50 AM
Updated: Mar 21, 2018 12:50 AM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell forcefully defended Robert Mueller on Tuesday, saying the special counsel should be allowed to finish his investigation and that legislation was "not necessary" to protect him against the threat of being fired by President Donald Trump.

McConnell also was critical of Trump's decision to call Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his recent election victory.

"I agree with the President's lawyers that Bob Mueller ought to be allowed to finish his job. I think he was an excellent appointment," McConnell told reporters at his weekly news conference in the Capitol. "I think he will go wherever the facts lead him and I think he will have great credibility with the American people when he reaches the conclusion of his investigation. So, I have a lot of confidence in him."

It was McConnell's first public comments since January about Mueller and the possible need to pass legislation to preserve his job -- a debate that has been swirling in public for weeks.

Asked if legislation should be passed to protect Mueller, whom Trump has repeatedly blasted on Twitter, the Kentucky Republican said, "I don't think that's necessary. I don't think Bob Mueller is going anywhere. I think there is widespread feeling, and the President's lawyers obviously agree, that he ought to be allowed to finish the job."

"He is a thoroughly credible individual," McConnell added, heaping even more praise on Mueller.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised McConnell's defense of Mueller - calling it a "shot across the bow."

"I want to salute his statesmanship," the New York Democrat told reporters of McConnell's statement. "That was the right thing to do. And I certainly hope President Trump is listening."

McConnell did not answer a question as he walked away from the microphones about what actions he would take if Trump did fire Mueller.

On Trump's call with Putin, which was slammed in a statement by Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, calling Putin a "dictator" who won a "sham election," McConnell said such a call would not have been "high on my list."

"The President can call whomever he chooses," McConnell said. "When I look at a Russian election, what I see is a lack of credibility in tallying the results I'm always reminded of the elections they have in almost every communist country, where whoever the dictator was of the moment, always got a huge percentage of the vote. So, calling him wouldn't have been high on my list."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333626

Reported Deaths: 3843
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin700691145
Ramsey29459521
Dakota23564198
Anoka23541236
Washington14864125
Stearns14564125
St. Louis9549121
Scott896460
Wright847548
Olmsted714637
Sherburne618746
Clay529960
Carver509715
Kandiyohi440828
Rice432338
Blue Earth431217
Crow Wing383339
Otter Tail338925
Chisago334516
Benton322753
Nobles316032
Winona297832
Douglas283040
Mower274823
Polk271527
Morrison246731
McLeod233721
Lyon232812
Beltrami230718
Goodhue222932
Becker221521
Steele21038
Itasca206324
Isanti203917
Carlton201417
Todd190314
Nicollet172126
Mille Lacs164632
Freeborn16227
Le Sueur157012
Brown156115
Cass153511
Pine14498
Meeker144812
Waseca143411
Roseau13035
Martin124721
Hubbard119729
Wabasha11301
Redwood104620
Chippewa9808
Renville95530
Cottonwood9454
Dodge9311
Watonwan8944
Wadena8637
Sibley8404
Rock8249
Houston8004
Aitkin79930
Fillmore7690
Pipestone76518
Pennington7058
Yellow Medicine69612
Kanabec68614
Swift63610
Murray6124
Faribault6093
Pope5721
Clearwater55410
Marshall5459
Stevens5403
Jackson5321
Lake4518
Koochiching4216
Wilkin4175
Lac qui Parle4124
Lincoln3811
Unassigned38159
Norman3718
Big Stone3392
Mahnomen3225
Grant2986
Kittson2518
Red Lake2303
Traverse1531
Lake of the Woods1071
Cook800

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 237371

Reported Deaths: 2571
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34873347
Linn14787169
Scott1184692
Black Hawk11288147
Woodbury10763137
Johnson985939
Dubuque947999
Story701924
Pottawattamie682474
Dallas661260
Sioux383829
Webster378339
Cerro Gordo373252
Marshall360950
Clinton345645
Buena Vista316614
Muscatine305172
Des Moines300623
Warren294115
Plymouth287044
Wapello265072
Jones237118
Jasper231546
Lee228719
Marion211922
Carroll204325
Bremer202713
Henry19367
Crawford183116
Benton175423
Tama157442
Jackson151117
Washington150216
Delaware147621
Dickinson145812
Boone144912
Mahaska133928
Wright13107
Clay12505
Buchanan123410
Hardin122812
Hamilton119514
Page11925
Kossuth11768
Clayton115510
Cedar114614
Harrison113432
Floyd111921
Mills11129
Calhoun10987
Fayette109812
Lyon10769
Butler10748
Winneshiek105513
Poweshiek103714
Iowa101414
Cherokee9674
Winnebago96325
Chickasaw9195
Hancock9138
Sac9068
Louisa90122
Grundy89514
Allamakee88413
Cass84725
Union8437
Mitchell8429
Appanoose81613
Humboldt8125
Shelby80511
Emmet79026
Guthrie78315
Franklin76421
Jefferson7635
Madison7265
Unassigned7090
Palo Alto6744
Keokuk6567
Pocahontas6024
Howard5859
Ida54915
Osceola5461
Greene5422
Montgomery51411
Clarke5064
Davis4839
Taylor4833
Monona4567
Adair4539
Monroe45113
Worth3881
Fremont3823
Van Buren3815
Decatur3410
Lucas3416
Audubon3112
Wayne3087
Ringgold2432
Adams1812
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