Flake: Trump 'seems to be building' toward firing Mueller

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE seems to be building toward firing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE after FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe's 25th Amendment comments 'taken out of context,' spokeswoman says The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration Ex-federal prosecutor: I would have 'owned' wearing a wire to record Trump MORE was dismissed Friday.

“It was a horrible day for democracy. To have firings like this happening at the top from the president and the attorney general does not speak well for what’s going on,” Flake said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Asked if he believes the president is laying the groundwork to fire Mueller, Flake said “it seems to be building towards that. But I just hope it doesn’t go there, because it can’t.”

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Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war McCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' MORE fired McCabe on Friday, just days before the ex-FBI official was set to retire and be eligible for his pension. Trump has personally attacked McCabe in the past, and celebrated his firing as "a great day for democracy."

Trump also took to Twitter this weekend to double down on his long-held opposition to the Mueller-led investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He asserted Saturday that the probe “should never have been started.” 

On Sunday, he claimed Mueller’s team is entirely made up of Democrats. Mueller himself is a Republican. 

Flake on Sunday called any attempts to fire Mueller a “massive red line” that he believes fellow Republicans would push back against. 

Flake, who has frequently criticized Trump’s rhetoric and is not seeking reelection this year, has prompted speculation that he might launch a White House bid in 2020. Flake, 55, spoke in New Hampshire on Friday at an event that typically hosts future presidential candidates.

On Sunday, Flake did not provide further clarity on his future plans, but reiterated his hope that a Republican will challenge Trump. 

“What I’m seeing is there is a crying need out there for some Republican to stand up and say ‘this is not normal, this is not right,’ ” Flake said.