High-profile supporters of President Trump are turning on special counsel Robert Mueller, the man charged with investigating Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign, the Associated Press reports. As Mueller builds his legal team, Trump’s allies are raising questions about the former FBI director’s impartiality, suggesting he cannot be trusted to lead the probe. The comments come amid increasing frustration at the White House and among Trump supporters that the investigation will overshadow the president’s agenda for months, a prospect that has Democrats salivating. Trump friend Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, went so far as to suggest the president was already thinking about “terminating” Mueller.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump adviser, tweeted, “Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair. Look who he is hiring.” Earlier, Gingrich heaped praise on Mueller, hailing him as a “superb choice” for special counsel whose reputation was “impeccable for honesty and integrity.” After the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey last week, Gingrich said, “Time to rethink,” citing Mueller’s hiring decisions and Comey’s admission that he’d instructed a friend to share with reporters notes he’d taken of his private conversations with Trump in order to force the appointment of special counsel. The talk about dismissing Mueller appeared to be coming from Trump allies, including some close to White House strategist Steve Bannon, who are frustrated with the prospect of a long probe.