Amid reports that Donald Trump is fuming with anger behind the scenes after FBI agents raided the office of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen for documents related to his $130,000 hush payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, concerns grew late Monday that Trump is closer than ever to firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who referred the Cohen case to federal prosecutors.
"Trump just floated the idea of firing Mueller. If he follows through, we take to the streets."
—Ben Wikler, MoveOn.orgAsked by a reporter during a cabinet meeting late Monday why he hasn't terminated Mueller—a move that critics say would spark a constitutional crisis, bring hundreds of thousands of Americans into the streets in opposition, and present more than sufficient cause for impeachment—some of Trump's private outrage spilled into public view.
"Why don't I just fire Mueller? Well, I think it's a disgrace what's going on. We'll see what happens," Trump said shortly after news of the Cohen raid broke. "But I think it's really a sad situation when you look at what happened. Many people have said you should fire him."
Trump responds to question "Why don't I just fire Mueller"— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) April 9, 2018
"Many people have said you should fire him... we'll see what happens, I think this is disgraceful and so do a lot of other people, this is a pure and simple witch hunt" pic.twitter.com/llJrXhig42
One of the "many people" agitating for Mueller's ouster is Fox News host Lou Dobbs, who declared in a segment on Monday on the heels of the Cohen raid that he "would fire the SOB in three seconds."
"This is now a man that has to be brought under control, it would seem to me," Dobbs added.
End the Outrageous Witch Hunt- @GreggJarrett: AG Jeff Sessions is incompetent, the FBI is corrupt & Robert Mueller & Rod Rosenstein are unethical & abusing the legal process. They all deserve to be fired. #MAGA #TrumpTrain #Dobbs pic.twitter.com/b1apXm6x84— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) April 9, 2018
The combination of Trump's direct attack on Mueller and growing agitation for the special counsel's firing in the right-wing media—which the president consumes in large chunks on a daily basis—spurred advocacy groups to issue a renewed call to take to the streets if Trump ultimately heeds the advice of prominent Fox News commentators.
In a tweet on Monday, Public Citizen highlighted a map of "Trump Is Not Above the Law" protests planned nationwide to prepare for the possibility Mueller's firing.
"Reminder as Trump uses the FBI raid of Michael Cohen's offices as a pretext to attack Robert Mueller’s investigation: Trump's obstruction will be met with mass protests nationwide," the group wrote.
Reminder as Trump uses the FBI raid of Michael Cohen's offices as a pretext to attack Robert Mueller’s investigation: Trump's obstruction will be met with mass protests nationwide as the number of people signing up at https://t.co/gXgUYMfs6v has swelled to 300K at 800+ locations. pic.twitter.com/71bk1zFYrJ— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) April 10, 2018
Echoing Public Citizen on Monday, Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.org, wrote: "Trump just floated the idea of firing Mueller. If he follows through, we take to the streets."