Trump to host GOP leaders for dinner after Mueller attacks

President Donald Trump will host Republican leaders for dinner at the White House on Wednesday night, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The dinner has been in the works for several days and was being planned before Trump attacked special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday and his press secretary said on Tuesday that the president has the power to fire the special counsel. The gathering will offer top Republicans a chance to hear from Trump personally about whether he intends to fire Mueller.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn are all expected to attend, the sources said.

McConnell said Tuesday that he was almost certain Mueller wouldn’t be fired and that the special counsel did not need any special protections from Congress, though the Kentucky Republican wouldn’t say how he could be so sure.

“He shouldn’t be removed from the office; he should be allowed to finish the job,” McConnell said. “I’m not going to answer the hypothetical, because I don’t think he’s going to be removed. I think he’ll be allowed to finish his job.”

Similarly, Cornyn warned that “it would be a mistake” for Trump to order the firing of Mueller. But Cornyn also declined to endorse legislation in Congress aimed at insulating him from presidential interference.

“I think he can’t predict what the backlash would be, so my advice to him is: Let Mueller do his job,” Cornyn said in an interview.

Other pressing matters include a potential strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces following an alleged chemical weapons attack, Trump’s threatened tariffs against China and crucial Cabinet confirmations looming in the Senate.

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