Donald Trump's reported attempts to fire Robert Mueller dismissed as 'New York talk,' by Democratic Senator

'Let’s see if he moves on Rosenstein,' Senator Joe Manchin says

Emily Shugerman
New York
Sunday 28 January 2018 21:43
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says Donald Trump threatening to fire Robert Mueller is 'New York talk'

A Democratic Senator has dismissed reports that Donald Trump tried to fire the special counsel charged with investigating his campaign as simply “New York talk”.

Mr Trump told White House counsel Don McGahn this summer to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing his campaign's possible ties to Russia, according to multiple outlets. Mr McGahn reportedly threatened to quit if Mr Trump went through with the idea, warning that it would be catastrophic for his presidency.

Mr Trump has dismissed these reports as "fake news".

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd questioned Democratic Senator Joe Manchin about the reports on Sunday, asking him how much the information concerned him.

“That’s New York talk,” Mr Manchin responded. “I look at it strictly as the New York language they have that’s different than most other people.”

Some viewers reacted with confusion on Twitter, asking what, exactly, the Senator meant by "New York talk".

"One starts to believe that people who call things New York talk might never have been to New York," tweeted ProPublica reporter Jessica Huseman.

Mr Todd attempted to parse the Democrat’s motives for brushing aside the news, noting that Mr Manchin is up for re-election in a traditionally red state.

“I get what you’re trying to do there – it’s a re-election year, I get that, you have to be anti-New York in West Virginia – but explain this to me,” the host said.

Mr Manchin explained the President's behaviour by saying that Mr Trump was having a difficult time adjusting from life as a New York businessman to life as a Washington politician.

“All of a sudden he understands there’s equal branches and there’s equal powers,” Mr Manchin said. “He’s having a hard time with that. “Hopefully, I think that will come.”

“Let’s see if he moves on [Rod] Rosenstein,” he added, referring to the Deputy Attorney General overseeing Mr Mueller’s investigation.

Donald Trump calls Robert Mueller story 'fake news' and compliments 'tremendous crowd' in Davos

Mr Trump has reportedly complained about Mr Rosenstein in recent weeks, and even told aides he wanted the Deputy Attorney General fired, according to CNN.

Multiple Democrats have said they would consider it an impeachable offence if Mr Trump fired any of the the team leading the Russia probe. Even Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that firing Mr Mueller would “be the end” of the Trump presidency.

Mr Trump has said as recently as December that he is not considering firing Mr Mueller. White House special counsel Ty Cobb responded to reports that the President wanted to fire Mr Rosenstein by saying: "We do not find it to be a coincidence that there is an onslaught of false stories circulating in what appears to be a coordinated effort to distract and deflect from new revelations about already reported bias and corruption.”

He added: “We continue to cooperate with the Special counsel and out of respect for that process will not weigh in further."

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