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

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Confirmed Cases: 87807

Reported Deaths: 2002
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25454917
Ramsey10349316
Dakota6995125
Anoka5596132
Stearns367023
Washington349255
Scott236632
Olmsted225327
Nobles192016
Blue Earth15566
Wright14937
Carver13197
Rice12908
St. Louis128229
Mower12614
Clay121340
Sherburne106313
Kandiyohi9112
Winona82818
Lyon6344
Steele5132
Freeborn5043
Nicollet49516
Watonwan4954
Benton4923
Todd4722
Le Sueur4413
McLeod4382
Waseca4228
Chisago4211
Crow Wing41018
Otter Tail3734
Beltrami3654
Goodhue3219
Martin2909
Itasca26413
Polk2624
Becker2372
Pine2360
Isanti2340
Carlton2311
Douglas2291
Cottonwood2140
Pipestone2089
Morrison1901
Dodge1880
Chippewa1851
Sibley1693
Meeker1662
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Brown1642
Murray1492
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Faribault1290
Jackson1251
Cass1233
Renville1206
Roseau1090
Pennington1081
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Houston1040
Swift1041
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Redwood930
Stevens901
Pope820
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Aitkin691
Big Stone660
Wadena610
Grant574
Wilkin553
Norman510
Lake480
Marshall481
Mahnomen451
Lac qui Parle410
Red Lake370
Traverse290
Clearwater240
Lake of the Woods201
Kittson130
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 78552

Reported Deaths: 1255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15133256
Johnson496227
Woodbury486561
Black Hawk431686
Linn3722105
Story326317
Scott271227
Dubuque266140
Dallas265338
Pottawattamie195137
Buena Vista193312
Marshall175634
Sioux12753
Wapello124357
Webster118414
Muscatine105452
Clinton104618
Plymouth100120
Cerro Gordo98621
Crawford9804
Warren9226
Jasper74232
Des Moines7247
Marion7014
Tama68531
Carroll6275
Henry5974
Lee5857
Wright5571
Dickinson4756
Bremer4597
Boone4557
Washington42711
Louisa41915
Franklin33117
Mahaska32619
Delaware3183
Hamilton3143
Jackson2923
Floyd2913
Winneshiek2835
Benton2781
Clay2773
Hardin2731
Winnebago26211
Butler2572
Clarke2533
Emmet24810
Shelby2411
Jones2393
Allamakee2375
Poweshiek2368
Lyon2323
Buchanan2291
Clayton2273
Cedar2171
Guthrie2115
Kossuth2090
Chickasaw2030
Grundy2002
Madison1992
Sac1980
Cherokee1792
Howard1795
Iowa1791
Fayette1781
Mitchell1750
Hancock1712
Harrison1692
Humboldt1693
Calhoun1672
Mills1621
Palo Alto1560
Pocahontas1502
Monroe14410
Page1410
Lucas1386
Jefferson1321
Cass1282
Monona1281
Osceola1210
Appanoose1193
Taylor1191
Union1193
Davis1134
Van Buren1081
Worth1000
Keokuk891
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Ida840
Greene820
Fremont790
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