Dec 17, 2017, 8:00 PM ET

Trump: 'No, I'm not' considering firing Mueller

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President Trump says he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller.

Upon returning to the White House from Camp David on Sunday, the president answered a few questions from reporters on the South Lawn. When asked by ABC News whether he is considering firing Mueller, who is leading the investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the election, he said, "No, I’m not," then asked reporters, "What, are you surprised?"

Also during questioning, Trump criticized Mueller's team for accessing thousands of emails sent and received by transition officials before his inauguration, suggesting it was done so illegally.

Trump's criticism echoes that of his transition team's legal counsel, Kory Langhofer, who in a statement to ABC News on Saturday said, "This morning we sent a letter to the House and the Senate concerning unauthorized disclosure of private and privileged transition emails with the special counsel's office."

President Donald Trump waves as he crosses the South Lawn of the White House on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.The Associated Press
President Donald Trump waves as he crosses the South Lawn of the White House on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.

In a copy of that letter also obtained by ABC News, the legal counsel claims the disclosure of the emails amounts to "unlawful conduct" as a release of "privileged communications" of nongovernment officials.

A spokesman for the special counsel neither confirmed nor denied Langhofer's allegations, but said in a statement to ABC News, "When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner's consent or appropriate criminal process."

Regarding the emails, Trump said, "I can’t imagine there's anything on them, frankly, because, as we said, there's no collusion -- there’s no collusion whatsoever."

ABC News' Alexander Mallin and Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

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  • Bert Jackson

    We'll See, We'll see means yes your fired

  • pksk531

    No, he won't fire Mueller. He will fire Rosenstein, or Sessions will. Then the next Asst AG will fire Mueller.

  • Mikhail

    Yep, he'll probably fire Mueller within the next few months.

  • theroadhome

    Trump looks like a crabby old big baby in these photos. And that hat is ridiculous. Doesn't his wife check him out before he goes outside to complain?

  • Bad Nun

    Hilarious to watch Trump answer a question tonight about the emails. Hillary must be laughing out loud

  • ryanwiwb

    Maybe Trump held a seance and Nixon talked him out of it.

  • Bert Jackson

    He has no plans to fire Mueller, he's getting that exoneration letter in the mail like any minute now, and he will be cleared forever. Easy is that!

  • Provoke Discussion

    I thought Rosenstein had to do the firing.

  • disqus_yLpGsRtEdv

    ...he has "no plans to fire Mueller:.... That means he has plans to fire Mueller.

  • MS2789

    Trump doesn't give two seconds thought to what he says and forgets most of what he spews by the time he finishes his next Big Mac

  • ArghONaut

    Would these words mean he has already decided to fire him, not just when or how? The operative weasel word is "considering".

  • Lee Thompson

    If he doesn't, he'll let congress do his dirty work.

  • Dicazi

    He can always say his advisors kept urging him to fire Mueller and he simply changed his mind.

  • 777abc

    Isn't that what he said right before he fired Flynn?

  • Bill William

    When Emperor Trump says he not considering firing someone he means at the moment he is speaking, the next day is different.

  • Bev Guyer

    Trump is so dumb. He doesn't have the ability to fire Mueller.

  • Tony Radcliffe-Hung

    Maybe he can actually learn from the past. Certainly only an idiot would consider firing Mueller at this point.

    But some how I have my doubts we've heard the last of this. Looks to me like someone already talked Trump out of a tree by lying to him and telling him there's going to be a letter of exoneration in a matter of days. He seems to have taken the bait for now, but how long will that last?

    I'm guessing not long because it looks to me like Mueller has only just gotten started and there's tons of THERE there.

  • JesterMarcus

    Well technically, he can't even fire Mueller right? He has to fire Rod Rosenstein and then replace him with somebody who will fire Mueller. That or put somebody in charge who can at the very least, hamper and disrupt Mueller's investigation through legal means.

  • Bud Simpson

    "Trump: 'No, I'm not' considering firing Mueller"

    In Trump-speak this means, "Yes, I am' considering firing Mueller, I just haven't figured out when."

  • Kobrakai7272

    Just so we are clear, Donald Trump led chants of "lock her up" because Hillary Clinton didn't use a dot gov email address which allowed her to hide some of her emails. Now his attorneys are fighting to hide his emails that used a dot gov email address, which exists for the specific purpose of saving emails of government employees because they belong to the public not the employee.

  • David Howell

    I am sure that Trump is not considering firing Muller. His mine is already made up.

  • Tony Radcliffe-Hung

    New RULE:

    If a candidate wins by the electoral college, but loses the popular vote, they can be president for 6 months and then we vote again. If they do not win both the EC and popular vote by then, we start a new election process for 6 months later.

    Just saying.

  • john hurley

    Trump's supposed Christmas Gift to the US Electorate will cost about $5 trillion over the next two-years. He promised his Patrons that he would not collect taxes both corporate and individual. Trump should be sentenced to a state or federal prison for political corruption, conspiracy, and malfeasance.

  • Baa

    Now I don't know what Trump means. If he would have said 'No, I'm very very not' considering firing Mueller' then I would know that Mueller would be fired in the morning. Trump is being tricky by not using a couple of verys!

  • Christopher Amsden

    Whelp. If Blumpf says he's not "considering" firing Mueller, I sleep much better at night. I mean, Blumpf has been so straightforward and honest thus far, we have nothing to worry about....

  • jjburns

    Trump speak that means, until Mueller get to close to the real truth about what occurred in Russia.

  • concernedvoter

    Trump and Team Collusion with the Russians was proven long ago by Mueller and a ton of blatant facts, Mueller is now working on the Conspiracy Charges against those imbeciles.

  • concernedvoter

    Of Course Jared Kushner trying to setup a Direct Back Channel to Russia using the Russian Embassy to avoid any American Intelligence was of no concern to these GOP members outraged over Mueller and his investigation? Or Jared meeting with the Head of Russias largest Back who happened to be a former Putin KGB buddy doesn't alarm them as well.. All done while working in Trumps Administration. Nope, just a Nuttin Burger..

  • concernedvoter

    Drives GOP and Trump Right wing nuts crazy to have to deal with the Fact that President Oboma will go down in history as one of Americas best most respected admired Presidents Globally while thier Beloved Putin Loving Trump will go down in history as Americas worst dumbest most corrupt President.. Facts are Facts

  • concernedvoter

    President Obama kicked out 50+ Russian Spies from the USA, Imposed Sanctions and closed two of their US Embassies while President Trump is still tea baggin Putin..

  • HALO101st

    The President is going to let Mueller and his little band of uber liberal Hillary lovers sink on their own.
    It is the last hope of the castrated democratic party and, as is usual with liberals and democrats, they are having to resort to lies and innuendo to justify their existence.
    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT FOOLED AND WE ARE NOT AMUSED, LIBERAL FAIRIES.

  • My two cents

    Is it just me or he is beginning to look more like an idiot everyday wearing those ball caps.

  • THEFred

    If Trump knew how to fire Mueller without self-destructing, he would have already done it. The last thing Trump wants is all his crimes and treason made public by an honest investigation!

  • TruthTRUMPS msmpropganda

    Firing is the least of Mudder's concerns. Fed. prison along with his team of corrupt, banana republic holdovers are now their problem.

  • mollydtt

    Let's see--Trump will fire Mueller just before Christmas, and then, maybe Kim Jong Un will decide that Christmas is a good time to launch a nuclear attack. Congress is on extended vacation and people are not paying attention.
    Trump will retire to his nuclear bunker and watch the plutonium fall.

  • mollydtt

    Trump weighs his options. He knows he will look guilty if he fires Mueller.

    But--he will be found guilty if he doesn't.

    Trump will fire Mueller and Fox "News" will go into overdrive justifying it.

    And the GOP will look like dirt. Don't get me wrong--they will get reeected in their deep red states and deflect and obscure.

    But, Trump is trying his best to get rid of every branch of government, and the free press.

    There will just be Trump and Fox "News", and lots of very rich people.

  • Marie D

    Congresswoman Jackie Speier said “The rumor on the Hill when I left yesterday was that the president was
    going to make a significant speech at the end of next week. And on Dec.
    22nd, when we are out of D.C., he was going to fire Robert Mueller.”

  • Persephone in Hell

    This was an ugly election, and the aftermath was going to be ugly, no matter who won. But I think we are owed the truth, or at least as much of it as will ever be divulged.

  • Ideology

    Trump knows the investigation is pointing to Kushner and Junior and he's off the hook!

  • concernedvoter

    I'm not interested in Firing Mueller, I'm interested in Stoping the Russia Investigation so I can continue towards my Ultimate Goal, Americas First Dicatotor..

  • HA

    Why would Trump want to fire Mueller after Mueller has obviously flipped?

    Strzok demoted. Ohr demoted. FISA judge Contreras recused. Based on this fact pattern, it looks like Mueller is following the evidence and finding the criminal activities in James Comey's FBI. Instead of finding collusion between Trump and Putin, Mueller is finding the evidence that Comey's FBI presented falsified intelligence from the Fusion GPS dossier to the FISA court as a pretext for the FBI and NSA to spy on the Trump campaign on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

  • Nick

    Your'e not "considering" if you've already decided to act.

    More used-car salesman language to dance around the subject.