House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday joined a handful of Republicans urging conservative critics of the special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation to back off.
“I’d be surprised” if Trump interfered with Mueller’s work, or fired him, Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I think he should let Bob Mueller do his job, do his job independently and do his job quickly, because I think that that’s what he would want to have happen. So I just — I’m not going to get into hypotheticals. I’d be surprised if he would do that.”
Hewitt asked how Ryan would advise the President to interact with Mueller.
“I think he should let Bob Mueller do his work,” Ryan said. “I think we should let Bob Mueller do his work and get to the bottom of it, and get to the bottom of it quickly so that he can be vindicated, get to these things. Let’s not forget what this is originally all about. Russia is up to no good. Russia is trying to meddle into our elections.”
On Monday, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, a friend of President Donald Trump, said “I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. I think he’s weighing that option.” White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded to the claim by saying that Ruddy “never spoke to the President regarding this issue.” But Ruddy didn’t back down from his assertion.
Asked if Trump would pledge not to interfere with Mueller’s work, a lawyer representing the President said Sunday, “I’m not going to speculate on what he will, or will not, do.”
Some influential conservatives, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter, have joined the attempt to undermine Mueller.
Still, Ryan joins Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ), who have either expressed confidence in Mueller, or concern at talk of Trump dismissing him.
The deputy attorney general appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel nine days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who had acknowledged he was leading an investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.