President Trump said Sunday he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, amid concerns that the administration was trying to halt the investigation into Russian election meddling.
“No, I’m not,” Trump said after a reporter asked him if he was thinking about firing the special counsel.
His remark comes among mounting rumors that Trump was considering firing Mueller and attacks by Trump allies on the special counsel.
The president was also asked about a slew of Trump transition team emails obtained by Mueller as apart of the probe.
“Not looking good, it’s not looking good. It’s quite sad to see that. My people were very upset about it,” Trump said.
“I can’t imagine there’s anything on them frankly because as we’ve said there’s no collusion, no collusion,” he continued.
A lawyer for Trump’s transition team said on Saturday that the emails were obtained illegally.
Mueller’s team responded by defending their possession of the emails.
“When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, said in a statement to The Hill.
Trump’s comments come as Republicans have ramped up pressure on the Mueller probe, saying there are signs of ant-Trump bias.
Text messages surfaced last week between FBI agent Peter Strzok and colleague Lisa Page criticizing Trump during the presidential campaign.
Strzok, who was dismissed from Mueller’s team earlier this year, had said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was “an idiot like Trump,” while Page called Trump “a loathsome human.”
“God, Hillary should win 100,000,000-0,” Strzok said in another message to Page.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Oh.) revealed on Saturday that he received an assurance from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that subpoenas would be issued for various senior FBI and Justice Department officials, including Strozk and Page.
However, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said on Sunday that the courts are responsible for handling complaints against Mueller.
Despite the outrage from Republicans, Trump’s lawyer presiding over his response to the Russia probe dismissed rumors last week that Trump would fire Mueller.
“As the White House has repeatedly and emphatically said for months, there is no consideration at the White House of terminating the special counsel,” Cobb said in a statement.