That Donald Trump wants to fire Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is no secret. The president issued a veiled warning at the former FBI director in July when the investigation began digging into his financial history. This and other unconfirmed statements and reports stirred Sen. Lindsey Graham to suggest “there will be holy hell to pay” if the president or his administration specifically targeted Mueller and his team. Considering the special prosecutor’s latest efforts, which include seeking interviews with several current and former top Trump aides, Axios now suggests that talk of termination has increased.
According to unnamed Trump associates who spoke with reporters Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan, the president has recently “mused about firing Mueller.” Aside from the special prosecutor’s most recent moves, Trump’s most recent huffing and puffing seems to have been caused by his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who told 60 Minutes the firing of FBI Director James Comey was the biggest mistake in “modern political history.” Bannon’s interview reignited talk of other developments in Mueller’s investigation, including his apparently obtaining a draft of Trump’s letter calling for Comey’s firing.
Despite the mounting pressure on Trump and the White House, especially since Mueller’s investigation is reportedly “burrowing in hard on the obstruction of justice angle,” Allen and Swan’s sources note the president’s musings haven’t resulted in a decision. After all, considering the ongoing fallout from Trump’s decision to fire Comey (including the appointment of Mueller in the first place), one associate warns that firing the special prosecutor would be as horrendous as “firing the Pope.”