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Cornyn says it ‘would be a mistake’ for Trump to fire Mueller

UPDATED: Sun., Dec. 17, 2017

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, pauses to speak to reporters before a closed-door GOP strategy session, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ORG XMIT: DCSA127 (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, pauses to speak to reporters before a closed-door GOP strategy session, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ORG XMIT: DCSA127 (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)
By Ben Brody Bloomberg

John Cornyn, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, said Sunday that it “would be a mistake” for President Donald Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

Cornyn’s comments on ABC’s “This Week” came as some congressional Republicans have called for Mueller’s firing. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said in a radio interview Friday that the “rumor” sweeping the Capitol was that Trump plans to fire Mueller Friday.

Trump’s lawyer, Ty Cobb, has denied the claim. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs both pushed back on the notion Sunday.

“There’s no conversation about that whatsoever in the White House,” Short said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I haven’t heard anything about this, any firing,” Mnuchin said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Cornyn said that he has confidence in Mueller, the former FBI director who was appointed in May to lead an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But he repeated that Mueller should “eliminate” team members who had supported Democrats or were critical of Trump.

“I would just think he would be concerned about the appearance of conflicts of interest that would undermine the integrity of the investigation,” Cornyn said.

Mueller recently removed an FBI official from the investigation as soon as his anti-Trump text messages were discovered. The recipient of the texts, who was also on Mueller’s team, had left by the time the exchanges were discovered.

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