White House spokesperson: Biden laid a foundation for progress but has more to do
Hatch: Those advising Trump to fire Mueller going against 'nation's best interest'
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Thursday warned that anyone advising President Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller 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."
"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 Rosenstein who would have to make the decision, since Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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 Grassley (R-Iowa) declared Tuesday that "it would be suicide for the president to fire him."