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

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE seems to be building toward firing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE after FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe FBI should turn off the FARA faucet John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Carter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases 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.