During a press briefing Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed frustration with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia collusion probe, but indicated that firing Mueller would not be “the most productive step.”
President Donald Trump and his allies blasted Mueller’s probe over the past few days, with Trump saying the special counsel has “massive conflicts of interest.” Some felt those comments were a sign that Trump is gearing up to fire Mueller, and Democrats expressed concerns about Mueller’s future.
Despite the renewed attacks, the GOP said legislative protections for Mueller aren’t really necessary, and Sanders went further to address the fears.
“We don’t feel like [firing Mueller] is the most productive step forward,” Sanders said. “We would like to see this come to a conclusion.”
From The Hill: Sanders was pressed by reporters to explain President Trump’s weekend tweets, in which he lashed out at the special counsel probe as a “witch hunt” and accused Mueller of stocking his team with Democrats.
The White House press secretary said that Trump’s reaction is natural and warranted because Trump has done nothing wrong. Sanders blasted back at GOP lawmakers, like Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who have suggested that the president’s attacks against Mueller make him appear as if he has something to hide.
“To pretend like going through this absurd process over a year would not bring frustration seems a little ridiculous,” Sanders said.
“I don’t think any individual, including members of Congress, would like it if they had been accused of taking their seat in Congress by doing something nefarious when they hadn’t, particularly if it went on for more than a year into their time in office.”
“My guess is they would be more than anxious to push back and certainly, would defend themselves as the president has clearly done that in this situation and has since day one,” Sanders added.
Sanders went on to explain that it is natural for Trump to be thinking about the Mueller probe.
“Clearly we have not been shy about the fact that there’s frustration of this process,” Sanders said. “We would like it to end quickly and soon. The president has contended since day one … that there was absolutely no collusion between his campaign and any outside force or country.”
“I don’t understand why it’s hard for anyone to process,” she continued. “If you had been attacked mercilessly and continuously day in, day out, every second while you’re trying to work hard to do good things for this country and literally every day you wake up to an onslaught of people saying you’re there because of reasons that are completely false, that’s frustrating. Certainly I think it’s fair for him to be frustrated.”
A video of the full press briefing may be viewed below. Questions about the president’s feelings about Mueller begin at minute mark 7:38.