President Trump’s threats to carry out military action in Syria come as he is facing an escalating political crisis at home, after the FBI raided the offices of his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen early Monday morning. The New York Times reports the FBI agents were looking for records about payoffs to two women—Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford—who say they had affairs with Trump, before he was president. The Trump-appointed deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, personally signed off on the raid, which was carried out by the interim U.S. attorney of the Southern District of New York, who was also appointed by President Trump. There’s now increasing speculation Trump may try to fire Rosenstein, or even special counsel Robert Mueller. On Tuesday, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump believes he has the power to fire Mueller.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “He certainly believes he has the power to do so.”
Republican lawmakers are urging Trump not to fire Rosenstein or Mueller, but have resisted passing legislation aimed at protecting the special counsel. This is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “Well, it’s still my view that Mueller should be allowed to finish his job. I think that’s the view of most people in Congress. I haven’t seen clear indication yet that we needed to pass something to keep him from being removed, because I don’t think that’s going to happen. And that remains my view, that I don’t think he’s going to be removed from this office. He shouldn’t be removed from the office. He should be allowed to finish the job.”