Hatch: Those advising Trump to fire Mueller going against 'nation's best interest'

Hatch: Those advising Trump to fire Mueller going against 'nation's best interest'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah) on Thursday warned that anyone advising President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE to fire 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 doesn't have “the nation’s best interest at heart."

“Anyone advising the President — in public or over the airwaves — to fire Bob Mueller does not have the President or the nation’s best interest at heart,” Hatch tweeted. “Full stop.”

Hatch released a statement last month urging Trump to allow the investigation to continue "uninterrupted." 

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"I know Bob Mueller well and believe him to be a straight shooter, and I continue to believe that giving him the time and support necessary to get to the bottom of things is the best interest of all parties involved," Hatch said. 

Hatch said then that his conversations with the Trump White House convinced him that Trump "would not take such a foolish action." 

The Thursday criticism from the longest serving Republican senator came shortly after Trump denounced a New York Times report that he tried to fire Mueller in December.

“If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him,” Trump tweeted early Thursday. “Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!”

On Monday, Trump said “many people” have suggested that he fire Mueller, who has been leading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the following day that Trump “certainly believes” he has the power to oust the special counsel, despite many legal experts saying that it would be 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 who would have to make the decision, since Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsA better way to run the Federal Bureau of Prisons Trump admin erases key environmental enforcement tool DOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda MORE has recused himself from Russia-related investigations.

Some Trump allies have been calling on the president to fire Mueller in the days following the FBI raid on Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) compared the raid to Stalin and the Gestapo, Nazi Germany's secret police. 

However, several prominent party members have urged Trump not to fire Mueller.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces White House denies exploring payroll tax cut to offset worsening economy Schumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord MORE (R-Iowa) declared Tuesday that “it would be suicide for the president to fire him.”

Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Gun reform groups to pressure GOP senators with rallies in all 50 states To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies MORE (R-N.C.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death MORE (R-S.C.) have both sponsored bipartisan bills to protect the special counsel from being fired by the president.