Special counsel Robert Mueller is a "man of integrity" and should be permitted to continue his investigation into Russian involvement or collusion, Sen. John Thune said Thursday, while disagreeing with President Donald Trump's contention that the probe is a "witch hunt."
"I think it's better for all of us if that work continues," the South Dakota Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, following a tweet by President Donald Trump ridiculing the probe and a news report saying he is under investigation for charges of obstruction of justice.
"He is going to get to the bottom and he is going to find the facts, and I think that's his role," Thune continued, while defending Mueller. "I think we ought to let him continue to do that. I assume at some point there will be an end to all this. He'll have done his investigation and there will be whatever findings there are."
While that happens, congressional Republicans "ought to proceed on our agenda," Thune said. "We ought to try and reform healthcare and reform the tax code, and do an infrastructure bill and focus on jobs and the economy for the American people knowing full well that the investigation is going to be ongoing."
But Mueller has a job to do, and it's "not a witch hunt, no," said Thune. "I think that he's got a job to do. I think we all understand that. And I think it's in everybody's best interest if we let him do his job, and we do ours."
Thune also said he'd "certainly advise against" Trump dismissing Mueller, a possibility that has been circulating in recent days.
"I don't think legally he can," said Thune. "I think there are — it sounds like, and I'm not a lawyer — legal grounds for good cause. But I don't expect that to happen, and I would certainly advise that step not to be taken."
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