GOP lawmaker: Trump firing Mueller would set off ‘political crisis’

Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentLots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups Dem, GOP groups prepare spending blitz for midterms MORE (R-Pa.) said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE “would set off a political crisis” should he move to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

"It would be a self-destructive act to do that and it would set off a political crisis if he were to fire Mueller,” Dent told CNN’s “New Day.”

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Dent’s comments come as Republicans in the Senate have moved toward considering legislation to protect Mueller. It's far from sure that bill will pass the Senate, however, let alone the House.

Dent, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, said Trump was “a factor” in his decision.

He has introduced a House bill to protect Mueller that is a companion to the legislation that Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisOvernight Defense: More Trump drama over Russia | Appeals court rules against Trump on transgender ban | Boeing wins Air Force One contract | Military parade to reportedly cost M Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate Senate adds members to pro-NATO group MORE (R-N.C.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump’s damage control falters Trump: 'I think I did great at the news conference' George Will calls Trump ‘sad, embarrassing wreck of a man’ MORE (R-S.C.), Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsHillicon Valley: EU hits Google with record B fine | Trump tries to clarify Russia remarks | Sinclair changing deal to win over FCC | Election security bill gets traction | Robocall firm exposed voter data Overnight Defense: More Trump drama over Russia | Appeals court rules against Trump on transgender ban | Boeing wins Air Force One contract | Military parade to reportedly cost M Senate resolution backs intelligence community on Russian meddling MORE (D-Del.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHouse backs resolution expressing support for ICE Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Senate adds members to pro-NATO group MORE (D-N.J.) unveiled in the upper chamber. 

"I do believe that we need to protect the special prosecutor. It would be a terrible mistake for the president to fire him,” Dent told CNN. “It would be bad for the president. It would be bad for Republicans in Congress in the midterms. And most of all, it would be bad for the American people.”

The White House said last week that Trump believes he has the power to fire Mueller, who is leading the probe into Russia's election meddling and any potential ties between Trump campaign staff members and the Kremlin.