After learning about the New York Times report Thursday night that President Donald Trump sought to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, one Republican congressman found a silver lining.
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) told CNN Thursday night that the fact that Mueller has not been fired shows that the process to reel in the President’s instincts works. The congressman largely refrained from passing judgment on the report, telling CNN that he had not read the Times’ report or heard from the White House about the revelation. Several outlets confirmed the New York Times’ reporting later on Thursday and early Friday.
“If it’s true, it would be concerning to me,” Stewart told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
“But it would also show that the process worked, that the people and the organization around the President did what they needed to do and that the outcome was actually the right outcome and that was Mr. Mueller wasn’t fired,” Stewart continued.
The New York Times reported that White House Counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign if Trump proceeded to fire Mueller over the summer, and that Trump then backed off from the idea. Stewart focused on the ability of Trump administration staff to convince Trump not to fire Mueller.
“Maybe the President — maybe he was angry, maybe he was frustrated, maybe for a moment he suggested this. We just don’t know. If he did, his instincts were wrong, but the people around him protected from those instincts,” Stewart said on CNN “And once again, the investigation went forward as it should, and I think the process served the President.”
Trump has dismissed the New York Times’ report as “fake news,” and Trump’s attorney, Ty Cobb, declined to comment to the Times.