Meet The Press' Chuck Todd pressed WH Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short over the prevailing wisdom that Trump will fire Mueller after one of his Trump for America lawyers claimed the special counsel "illegally obtained tens of thousands of emails from the Trump transition team."
Mueller's office shot down this nonsense and issued a statement saying so.
The NBC host quizzed the Short on this issue and if Trump will fire the special counsel. (NBC supplied the transcript)
CHUCK TODD: There is a Trump lawyer for the Trump transition, Trump for America, that says that Bob Mueller’s investigation got the transition emails, ptt.gov is how all those email addresses end, got those government-issued or government-used emails um unlawfully.
Mueller’s office says that’s not true. A statement this morning, “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.” Implying perhaps that there was a subpoena to GSA, do you believe these were unlawfully – "
MARC SHORT: "Chuck, thankfully I’m not in communication with the transition lawyer for the Trump team. The reality is that this administration has complied in every single possible way with the special counsel, tax payers have spent millions and millions of dollars on this investigation that has not yet proven any sense of collusion with the Russians. I think the American people are ready to turn the page."
CHUCK TODD: "Ok, but is the president going to continue to cooperate?"
MARC SHORT: "He is continuing to cooperate—"
CHUCK TODD: Or is he setting the stage—"
MARC SHORT: "No, come on, Chuck."
CHUCK TODD: "For firing Bob Mueller?"
MARC SHORT: "No, there’s no conversation—"
CHUCK TODD: "There’s no way he’s going to fire him?"
MARC SHORT: There’s no conversation about that whatsoever in the White House, Chuck.
CHUCK TODD: "None whatsoever?"
MARC SHORT: "You guys keep bringing that up. We have continued to cooperate in every single possible way with that investigation."
Short never said Trump would not fire Robert Mueller.
And that doesn't mean that conversation will not come up next week.
And there are rumors all over Washington, D.C., that Trump will fire Mueller.
Rep. Schiff told MSNBC that he sees Republicans in House leadership are planning to shut down the investigation after holding just enough interviews to give the illusion of a full investigation."
Rep. Jackie Speier told KQED yesterday, "The rumor on the Hill when I left yesterday was that the president was going to make a significant speech at the end of next week,” Speier said. “And on December 22, when we are out of DC, he was going to fire Robert Mueller.”
It should be pointed out--and something that Chuck Todd failed to do-- that Trump does not have the authority to fire Mueller directly. In order to do so, he would need to direct Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to do it. If Rosenstein refused, Trump could fire Rosenstein and replace him with someone willing to fire him (see Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre"), but that would not end the investigation. It would also trigger a constitutional crisis, for which several resistance groups have been organizing a national protest, should it happen.