McConnell Defends Mueller And Slams Trump For Congratulating Putin

McConnell Defends Mueller And Slams Trump For Congratulating Putin

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) finally stepped up to defend Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation on Tuesday.

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump attacked Mueller by name on Twitter for the first time not long after firing FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Trump’s series of tweets suggest that he is attempting to lay the groundwork to fire Mueller, a move that would end the investigation and ignite a firestorm on Capitol Hill.

Some Republicans rushed to condemn Trump’s attacks, but McConnell didn’t do so until Tuesday when he surprised everyone by strongly defending Mueller.

“I agree with the President’s lawyers that Bob Mueller ought to be allowed to finish his job,” McConnell said. “I think he was an excellent appointment. I think he will go wherever the facts lead him and I think he will have great credibility with the American people when he reaches the conclusion of his investigation. So, I have a lot of confidence in him.”

In fact, McConnell is so confident that Trump won’t go down the disastrous path of firing Mueller that he brushed off the idea that legislation is needed to prevent him from doing so.

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” he said. “I don’t think Bob Mueller is going anywhere. I think there is widespread feeling, and the President’s lawyers obviously agree, that he ought to be allowed to finish the job. He is a thoroughly credible individual.”

That’s a huge endorsement from McConnell and a major setback for Trump. The strength of McConnell’s words suggests he won’t support Trump if he makes a move to undermine Mueller’s investigation. Now we’ll have to wait and see what Trump does next.

But McConnell wasn’t done. He also criticized Trump’s congratulatory call to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had earlier won re-election with 76 percent of the vote after prohibiting his main opponent from the race.

“I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory,” Trump bragged, even though his aides warned him in ALL CAPS not to congratulate Putin since it’s clear he rigged the election in his own favor.

“The President can call whomever he chooses,” McConnell conceded before making it clear that he would not have made the call.

“When I look at a Russian election, what I see is a lack of credibility in tallying the results I’m always reminded of the elections they have in almost every communist country, where whoever the dictator was of the moment, always got a huge percentage of the vote. So, calling him wouldn’t have been high on my list.”

McConnell’s condemnation of Trump’s call to Putin followed Senator John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) own blistering statement released earlier in the day.

“An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections,” McCain said. “And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country’s future, including the countless Russian patriots who have risked so much to protest and resist Putin’s regime.”

Trump may have definitely gone too far this time by attacking Mueller and congratulating Putin, and could now be walking on thin ice. McConnell and other Republicans are clearly becoming more frustrated by Trump. The only questions are when will they reach their breaking point and what will they do when that happens?

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