Trump denies New York Times reporting, says if he wanted to fire Mueller, he would have

 

  • President Donald Trump pushed back on a New York Times' report on Thursday that said he was considering firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, saying if he had wanted to, he would have.
  • The Times' story wasn't alone in portraying Trump as being held back from firing Mueller.
  • As the Russia investigation heats up, other media outlets and Republicans have said similar things.
  • If Trump does fire Mueller, an expert said it could trigger a "constitutional crisis."

President Donald Trump pushed back on a New York Times report on Thursday that said he had considered firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the head of the probe into his campaign's ties to Russian influence.

"If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him. Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!" Trump tweeted.

The Times story was not alone in portraying Trump as being held back from firing Mueller as the Russia investigation heats up.

The probe took on heightened significance this week when Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, had his home and offices raided by law enforcement earlier this week.

26 PHOTOS
Reaction to Robert Mueller's appointment to Russia investigation
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Reaction to Robert Mueller's appointment to Russia investigation
Trump statement https://t.co/uXbFDYpIqP
My statement on DAG Rosenstein's decisions to appoint a special counsel https://t.co/s7i5LjPcg1
.@SpeakerRyan Statement on the Appointment of Special Counsel https://t.co/YhKhf5YVcV
Appointment of special counsel is very positive. Mueller is a solid choice who will help reestablish public confide… https://t.co/IJnOCOnZIw
Robert Mueller’s appointment is a positive step. I am hopeful that he will help us get to the bottom of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
A special counsel is very much needed in this situation and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein has done the right thing.
(1/2) I support the appointment of Bob Mueller as special counsel for the Russia investigation. https://t.co/AUVNzmzUk6
(2/2) Bob Mueller was a great U.S. attorney & FBI director. He’s respected, talented and has the knowledge & ability to do the right thing.
Having known him for years, I believe special counsel Mueller is a very good thing. He is one of the best -- indepe… https://t.co/IUnElVxegr
Mueller is a great selection. Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder on appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel in Trump/Russia affair: https://t.co/Sowez3yFyl
"He has the expertise and experience, and the guts and backbone to uncover truth," Sen. Blumenthal says of Robert M… https://t.co/gr11ooOMXl
Mueller is a good first step -- but can't take the place of an independent commission free from Trump's meddling. https://t.co/Dv6m4eC7xw
I commend @TheJusticeDept for taking the appropriate step of appointing a special counsel. https://t.co/tBgRzNrMGO
Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel is a positive step. My statement: https://t.co/6pDM4z8hD4
Senator Collins’ statement on appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel #mepolitics https://t.co/Ku6hk5V75e
Murphy statement on appointment of special prosecutor for investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia https://t.co/yjvIckje66
My full statement on the appointment of Special Counsel to oversee #TrumpRussia investigation… https://t.co/aEphkfSnKs
Mueller does not erase the need for an independent commission. #ProtectOurDemocracy https://t.co/q3ev9tfMWf
.@RonWyden's statement on the appointment of special counsel https://t.co/3DAdwJvJem https://t.co/JV9b1DA3Iu
Here's my statement on appointment of a special counsel to lead FBI Russia investigation: https://t.co/vsGhi6yiXp
My statement on the appointment of a #SpecialCounsel to investigate the troubling #TrumpRussia ties: https://t.co/iGlCWjTxd0
I’m encouraged to see @TheJusticeDept has appointed a special counsel to lead the investigation into #TrumpRussia https://t.co/0WNjIEJSqw
Mr. Mueller is a man of integrity and well chosen. Must ensure he has resources necessary for a rigorous investigation #SpecialCounsel
Bob Mueller is a man of integrity. I have every confidence he will pursue this investigation and follow the facts,… https://t.co/ZYXnqF1QYu
The issue of Russian meddling in our election must be investigated fully & former FBI dir. Mueller is well qualified to oversee this probe.
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Jonathan Swan, a White House reporter for the Axios news website, said that the raid forced a "breaking point" in Trump's anger over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigations. Swan said those close to Trump fear he may fire Mueller, possibly triggering a "constitutional crisis."

This week Trump channeled an unprecedented level of anger toward the FBI and Department of Justice officials, calling the raid on Cohen "disgraceful situation," "an attack on our country" and "what we all stand for."

"We're in serious territory," said Walter Shaub, a former head of the Office of Government Ethics who served under Trump and President Barack Obama.

"The President of the United States made remarks today that challenge the rule of law," Shaub continued. "That he seems to think he's above the law puts us potentially on a collision course with a constitutional crisis. What alarms me most is people who aren't alarmed."

Republicans have also expressed fear that Trump may fire Mueller.

"Mr. President, if you're watching, I think you're gonna be fine unless you screw this up," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said to Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum on Wednesday. "Let the process play out."

SEE ALSO: 'Mr. President, if you're watching': Lindsey Graham appeals to Trump on Fox News not to 'screw up' the Russia investigation by firing Mueller

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