The White House on Monday said it had no plans to dismiss Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after he delivered the first indictments in his investigation regarding Russia’s interference in last year’s presidential elections, The Hill informs.
According to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the charges brought against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and two other ex-aides have “nothing to do with the president,” since most of the alleged crimes took place before the 2016 campaign.
Huckabee also argued that the focus in Mueller’s investigation should be placed on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Democrats’ funding of opposition research that produced a dossier of explosive accusations about Trump’s ties to Moscow, The Hill adds.
“The real collusion scandal, as we’ve said several times before, has everything to do with the Clinton campaign,” Sanders stressed. The press secretary also downplayed the possibility that Trump will take any drastic measures in order to end the special counsel investigation, but at the same time declining to rule them out.
“There is no intention or plan to make any changes in regards to the special counsel,” Sanders said when asked if Trump is considering firing Mueller.
Sanders also downplayed former campaign aide George Papadopoulos’s role on the campaign, calling him a “volunteer” who served on an advisory committee that met just one time. The aide said he was in touch with a Russian academic in April 2016 who promised “dirt” on Clinton based on the contents of her emails, months before the Russian hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails became public, The Hill notes.