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Mueller probe will energize political bases ahead of 2020, says conservative strategist

Conservative strategist Mattie Duppler said on Thursday that Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe will energize the Republican and Democratic bases ahead of the 2020 presidential election. 

"The more that you talk about Mueller, the more that you fix it on this us versus them mentality in Washington, D.C., the more voters feel like they need to go to their corners, and defend their people," Duppler, founder and president of Forward Strategies, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising."

"The more that you hear Trump, maybe not even Trump, Republicans or even the media talk about whether or not Mueller's going to go after Don Jr., you're going to hear in consequence more defense of what the Trump agenda is, and what they're trying to do, and trying to paint the picture that it's us versus them," she continued. 

Duppler is also a senior fellow for fiscal policy at the National Taxpayers Union and a former House Republican leadership aide.

Her comments come one day after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report Acting AG will meet with DOJ ethics officials to discuss possible recusal: reports Swalwell calls acting AG an 'assassin' hired to 'take out' Mueller probe MORE was ousted by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report California wildfire becomes deadliest in state’s history Sinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups MORE

The Justice Department confirmed to The Hill Trump's pick to replace Sessions, Matthew Whitaker, will oversee Mueller's probe. 

"The ActingMatthew G WhitakerActing AG will meet with DOJ ethics officials to discuss possible recusal Swalwell calls acting AG an 'assassin' hired to 'take out' Mueller probe Trump’s new strategy: Chummer-in-Chief MORE Attorney General is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice," DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. 

That means the Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinDem leaders request formal update from DOJ on whether Whitaker should recuse himself How Trump can pull off ultimate trick to make Mueller disappear Dems race to protect Mueller probe MORE will no longer oversee the probe. 

Trump has long slammed Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation, which he has called a politically motivated witchhunt. 

Democrats have said that Whitaker's previous critical comments about Mueller's probe make him unfit to oversee the investigation. 

— Julia Manchester