Two influential Republican senators have urged U.S. President Donald Trump to avoid public comments about the special counsel’s probe into potential contacts with Russia during his 2016 campaign.
The remarks by senators Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins in separate television interviews on January 28 came in the wake of media reports that Trump attempted to fire the special counsel, Robert Mueller, last June over anger about the scope of his investigation.
Trump, who has made numerous Twitter comments about the probe, has denied the reports in the U.S. media, calling them “fake news.” He has called the overall investigation a "witch hunt."
"I think the president would be best served by never discussing the investigation, ever, whether in tweets, except in private conversations with his attorney," Collins told CNN's State Of The Union program.
The media reports, first published by The New York Times, said Trump ordered White House counsel Donald McGahn to fire Mueller but backed down after McGahn threatened to resign rather than carry out the order.
Graham and Collins also said Congress should consider legislation to protect Mueller from any unjust firing by the president.
Graham and three Democratic senators introduced legislation last August that would require that a panel of federal judges review any action to remove a special counsel.
"I’ve got legislation protecting Mr. Mueller, and I’d be glad to pass it tomorrow," Graham told ABC’s This Week program.
Collins, meanwhile, told CNN that "it certainly wouldn’t hurt to put that extra safeguard in place, given the latest stories."