Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) on Monday cast more doubt on a proposed bill that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump, saying he doesn’t think it’ll even be brought up for a vote.
“It’s about as popular as cholera with the leader in the Senate. And it’s about as popular as malaria in the House,” Kennedy said on Monday.
The Louisiana senator argued that the bipartisan bill, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, probably won’t even make to the Senate floor for a vote, partially because Republicans backing the legislation can’t stop “squabbling” over amendments.
“They’re really squabbling. They can’t agree on anything. I just don’t see the leader bringing it to the floor,” he said.
Kennedy added that most Republicans believe the bill, introduced by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) last week, would be picking an “unnecessary fight with the president,” especially considering that according to the Kennedy, Trump’s not going to fire Mueller.
“I do not believe the president is going to fire Mr. Mueller,” he said, “I do not think Mr. Mueller deserves to be fired. I think the president is way too smart to do that.”
Kennedy noted said that while the president tends to “send out some tweets” that startle those worried about Mueller’s job security, ultimately it’s just Trump trying to “manage out loud.”
Earlier on Monday, however, Tillis, a Republican sponsor of the bill that would protect Comey, slammed fellow GOP lawmakers who refused to get behind the measure amid heightened rhetoric from Trump regarding the ongoing Russian investigation.
“Courage is when you know you’re going to do something that’s going to anger your base,” Tillis said in an interview with Politico.
“The same people who would criticize me for filing this bill would be absolutely angry if I wasn’t pounding the table for this bill if we were dealing with Hillary Clinton,” he added. “So spare me your righteous indignation.”