Trump's attack on Mueller's probe of Russian meddling, potential Trump team collaboration and possible obstruction of justice heightened concerns on Capitol Hill that the president is mulling firing Mueller, a move that congressional Republicans warned would be politically disastrous. "And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!" He's called the probe both a "witch hunt" and a "hoax".
Republican allies of the president have seized upon the fact some of Mueller's team - seven out of 17 lawyers according to The Washington Post - previously donated money to Democratic political candidates.
"I think we owe it to the average American to have a hearing in the Judiciary Committee where Mr. Sessions, Attorney General Sessions, comes forward with whatever documentation he has about the firing, and give Mr. McCabe a chance to defend himself", Graham said.
He referenced legislation that would aim to protect the special counsel from Trump.
The tweets have put lawmakers on edge, particularly members of Mr. Trump's own party, for fear that he may fire Mueller.
On Saturday, Trump personal lawyer John Dowd urged the Justice Department official overseeing Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, to "bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe's boss James Comey". "If you have an innocent client, Mr. Dowd, act like it". "Keep in mind, Chris, he didn't volunteer for this", Gowdy said addressing host Chris Wallace.
His Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has yet to comment on the ordeal.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said it was very important that Mueller be allowed to proceed without interference and that many Republicans share this view.
Pressed on the issue, Paul said he would not "advocate" for Trump to try to force Mueller out, just as he "would have never advocated for the appointment of a special prosecutor". "And for the administration to keep trying to undercut what they're trying to do - the president keeps saying there's no story here, they didn't do anything wrong".
"So I would expect to see considerable pushback in the next couple of days urging the president not to go there".
President Trump blasted special counsel Robert Mueller and his ongoing criminal probe today, accusing the investigation of being tainted by partisan politics and making a full break from the White House's previous approach of vowing full cooperation. We can't in Congress accept that", Flake told CNN's "State of the Union. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, also pushed back against the president.
Schiff said, "I think, George, you just pointed to the single most important development of the week and that is at the same time it's revealed that the special counsel is looking at business records of the Trump Organization", referring to a New York Times report Thursday that Mueller's team has subpoenaed Russia-related records from president's business, the Trump Organization.
"I know you dispute that", Stephanopoulos said to Schiff.
Schumer said in a statement that Trump is "floating trial balloons" to derail the investigation and said Republicans "have an obligation" to establish that Mueller's firing would be a red line.
The Republican comments underscored the risks for Trump if he goes too far to thwart the federal probe.