A man of few words, McConnell tiptoes around issue of Mueller

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"The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime", Trump tweeted on Saturday night. But that could pose major problems for Donald Trump, with the Washington Post reporting that lawyers are afraid that Trump's "penchant for making erroneous claims" will get him into serious trouble.

Trump has repeatedly called the investigation and Russian meddling a "hoax" pushed by his political rivals. It is not clear if that will suffice for official accounts or an actual interview with Trump himself, and Mueller's office did not respond to a request for comments on the article.

Republican leaders in Congress have argued that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election should not be cut short, but they have done little to ensure it isn't.

"The special counsel should be free to follow through his investigation to its completion without interference, absolutely", said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-U.S. House Speaker. Schumer of NY, the chamber's top Democrat, who termed it "a real shot across the bow" to Mr. Trump.

Trump can not fire Mueller directly. "I am confident he will be able to do that", Ryan said at a news conference Tuesday morning. The president ought to just drop this whole line of worrying about Mueller.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also expressed confidence in the special counsel on Tuesday, saying he should be allowed to "finish his job", but like many Republicans he did not suggest legislative action was necessary to protect the special counsel should he be fired. The deed would need to be done by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stepped away from any decisions connected to Mueller's investigation-a fact Trump has not let Sessions live down. In response, the White House said that the president has no intentions of standing in Mueller's way.

Trump has fumed to confidants that the Mueller probe is "going to choke the life out of" his presidency if allowed to continue indefinitely, according to an outside adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations with the president.

"Everything that we have seen from these texts, and from all of the facts developing, shows that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and senior (Justice Department) officials conspired to violate the law and to deny Donald Trump his civil rights", he added. He added, "Make no mistake about it: A group of F.B.I. and D.O.J. people were trying to frame Donald Trump of a falsely created crime".

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