Trump, GOP leaders don’t talk Mueller at private dinner
President Trump and Republican congressional leaders didn’t talk about Robert Mueller’s investigation during a private dinner meeting at the White House Wednesday, even as lawmakers worry the special counsel could be fired.
“It didn’t come up,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters on Thursday.
Instead, Trump talked about the legislative agenda for the rest of 2018, discussing with Senate and House GOP leaders possible military action in Syria, a spending rescissions package, trade, immigration reform, nominations, the Dodd-Frank banking law and the Veterans Affairs Choice Program, according to Cornyn.
“We kind of riffed on the agenda,” Cornyn said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) also attended the dinner with Trump and Vice President Pence.
Trump tweeted a photo of the leaders giving the thumbs up with him at the meeting.
Trump expressed disappointment that Ryan will retire at the end of the year, which some political analysts are interpreting as a sign that control of the House is likely to flip to Democrats.
“I think he was disappointed but understands. That’s a big event,” Cornyn said.
But the president and leaders “really didn’t talk about the race for Speaker,” he added.
The Syria discussion was at the top of the agenda.
The president and GOP leaders also discussed how to avoid passing another omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2019.
Many conservatives were angered by the size of the $1.3 trillion spending package that Congress passed last month.
Trump has been complaining publicly about Mueller’s investigation since Monday, when the FBI conducted a raid on his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, reportedly for information on payments to two women who have alleged they had affairs with the president.
Lawmakers in the Senate have been debating legislation that would offer protections for Mueller.