Republicans lawmakers don’t want to pass legislation that would stop President Trump from firing the special counsel heading the Russia probe because they’re afraid of a backlash at the polls, a GOP senator said.
“The president is, as you know — you’ve seen his numbers among the Republican base — it’s very strong. It’s more than strong, it’s tribal in nature,” Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told The Washington Examiner.
“People who tell me, who are out on trail, say, look, people don’t ask about issues anymore. They don’t care about issues. They want to know if you’re with Trump or not.”
Polls consistently show that a large majority of Republican voters back the president.
Corker will retire when his second term comes to an end, and consequently has felt free to take the occasional shot at the commander-in-chief.
But he said that other Republicans don’t want to get on the president’s bad side — or become the victim of a virulent Twitter attack — by challenging his criticism of the special counsel, former FBI Robert Mueller.
The president on Friday and again on the weekend went after Mueller by name on Twitter, fueling speculation that he might can the special counsel in a fit of pique.
That prospect revived questions about the fate of a proposal from North Carolina GOP Sen. Thom Tillis that would protect Mueller from being removed by the president.
But Trump’s lawyers insisted that he was not going to fire Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the president’s campaign.
Trump has adamantly denied that there was any collusion and derided Mueller’s probe as “fake news,” “a witch hunt” and a scheme cooked up by Democrats and their supposed flunkies in the intelligence community to undermine his election.