— -- A top GOP senator and ally of President Donald Trump said he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller "is the best person to look at" whether the president may have tried to obstruct justice through any possible interference with the Russia investigation, and said he has “complete confidence” in the special counsel.
“Mueller is doing a good job. I have confidence in him to get to the bottom of all things Russia,” Sen. Lindsey Graham told “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz Sunday.
Graham was referring to reports that Trump expressed frustration at the special counsel’s probe and wanted to fire Robert Mueller last June, confirmed to ABC News by a source familiar with White House deliberations. According to the source, White House counsel Donald McGahn and other attorneys made clear they were not in favor of such a move.
As special counsel, Mueller leads the federal investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. election and possible ties to Trump associates.
“I believe it's something that Mueller should look at. We're not just going to say it's fake news and move on,” Graham said.
In August, Trump said on camera that he hadn’t “given it any thought” on firing Mueller. Raddatz asked Graham today if the president "was lying to the American people" when he said that.
Graham responded, "This is for Mr. Mueller to determine ... I think Mr. Mueller is the perfect guy to get to the bottom of all of this, and he will. And I think my job, among others, is to give him the space to do it."
“I will do whatever it takes to make sure that Mr. Mueller can do his job,” Graham added. “We're a rule of law nation before President Trump, we're going to be a rule of law nation after President Trump.”
The senator noted that he has co-sponsored legislation that would offer some protections against Mueller's being fired, requiring the attorney general to seek a review from a panel of federal judges before any move to fire the special counsel.
“I’ve got legislation protecting Mr. Mueller, and I’ll be glad to pass it tomorrow,” Graham said.
Graham added, "I see no evidence that Mr. Trump wants to fire Mr. Mueller now. I don't know what happened last year, but it's pretty clear to me that everybody in the White House knows it would be the end of the President Trump's presidency if he fired Mr. Mueller. So I think we're in a good spot with Mr. Mueller."