President Donald Trump has no intention “right now” to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said Sunday.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Shah also said Trump “intends to” speak with Mueller, adding, however, “his attorneys are communicating with the special counsel on the specifics regarding that.”
Jousting with host Jonathan Karl, Shah dodged questions about Trump reportedly wanting Mueller axed — and reiterated Trump’s charge that the Russia probe “is everything from a hoax to a witch hunt.”
But he pushed back when Karl asked if Trump would fire Mueller if the probe were to veer into other non-collusion issues, including “the Stormy Daniels pay off.”
“I’m not here to declare any red lines,” Shah said. “There's no intention whatsoever to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel, right now. We've been fully cooperative. We respect their process. We're hoping it will come to a conclusion in the near future.”
Shah also defended Trump’s tariffs on aluminum and steel, saying: “This is the president keeping a promise.”
“The president was offered the pros and cons of this action,” he said. “He took it and it’s consistent with what he’s been saying, not just since the campaign, but actually going back decades. He’s been talking about how foreign countries have ripped off American businesses and American workers. And access to foreign markets is exactly what he wants and what he’s going to be getting.”
On a possible summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, Shah said a sit-down could be “an important breakthrough.”
“It’s going to be a time and a place to be decided,” he said. “We don’t have an announcement right now, but we have accepted this offer and we hope that it can be the part of an important breakthrough.”
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