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

Conservative strategist Mattie Duppler said on Thursday that Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony 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 admin erases key environmental enforcement tool DOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel MORE was ousted by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE

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

"The Acting 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 Rosenstein10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Why the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing 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