Newt Gingrich, an outside adviser to President Donald Trump, said on Tuesday that he spoke to Trump on Monday night and that he does not expect the president to try to oust special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
The former speaker offered a flat “no” when asked on “CBS This Morning” if he believed Trump would dismiss Mueller.
“The president actually is pretty confident that ultimately this is all going to come out in the wash and ultimately he’s still going to be president and this stuff’s all going to go away,” Gingrich said.
The notion that Trump might try to fire Mueller, appointed last month to oversee an independent investigation into Russia’s interference in the election and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin, was raised Monday night by Chris Ruddy, a friend of the president’s. Ruddy, who heads the conservative outlet Newsmax and was at the White House on Monday, told PBS that Trump was “considering perhaps terminating the special counsel.”
Ruddy, who in that same PBS interview said firing Mueller would be “a very significant mistake,” later said he had not met with the president during his White House visit on Monday.
Gingrich, who initially called Mueller a “superb choice” whose “reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity,” has since cooled on the special prosecutor. In a Monday post to Twitter, the former speaker warned that “Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair,” an about-face form his previous remarks.
What changed his mind, Gingrich said, are attorneys that Mueller has hired for his investigation with histories of donating to Democratic politicians, including former President Barack Obama and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. One, former Justice Department attorney Jeannie Rhee, also represented the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 lawsuit.
“I’ve been very clear about the fact that Mueller, hiring four Democrats – his first four attorneys are all Democrats, one of them worked for the Clinton Foundation,” said Gingrich, who suggested that Mueller should hire as many Republicans for his team as he does Democrats. “He apparently couldn’t find a single pro-Trump attorney to hire and I just think that that’s a rigged game. I think that it’s a mistake to pretend that this is going to be some neutral investigation.”