As 2017 nears its end, President Trump appears set to enact sweeping tax reform, which would add to a list of accomplishments including successfully nominating a Supreme Court justice, largely defeating the Islamic State and overseeing stock market record highs.
Trump, however, remains below 40 percent approval in most polls, and his allies continue to be probed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
It is unclear if Trump himself is under investigation, although NBC recently reported that it appears that Mueller is probing whether Trump obstructed justice in regards to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone is convinced Mueller’s probe will lead to charges against Trump.
Stone told TheDC after charges were filed against former Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates that Mueller intends “to levy phony charges against Trump in order to impeach him.”
Although, in private, Trump insists he did nothing wrong.
“The Russia story is bulls**t,” Trump frequently tells friends, according to a knowledgeable source speaking on condition of anonymity.
However, the constant media focus on the Russia investigation has cemented a negative public opinion.
A recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 60 percent of Americans believe Trump has tried to obstruct the investigation into alleged Russian collusion. The same poll found that a majority of Americans think Trump did something wrong regarding his campaign’s ties with Russia.
Forty percent think that Trump did something illegal, and 32 percent said that he did nothing illegal, but acted unethically.
Boding well for Trump are the continued reports of bias from Mueller’s investigators.
Mueller, a registered Republican, has hired several Democratic donors to work on his wide-ranging probe into Russian election interference. One of these donors, Andrew Weissmann, was recently found to have applauded a Justice Department official’s defiance of Trump and reportedly attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party.
Additionally, two FBI officials who worked on the Russia investigation appeared to text about ways to prevent Trump from becoming president. (RELATED: ‘We Can’t Take That Risk’ — FBI Officials Discussed ‘Insurance Policy’ Against Trump Presidency)
This has led Republicans, such as Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, to suggest Mueller’s probe needs to be shut down.
“It’s time for Mueller to put up or shut up. If there’s evidence of collusion with Russia, let’s see it,” Gaetz told CNN Friday.
Trump, however, does not plan to dismiss Mueller.
“No, I’m not,” Trump told reporters Sunday at the White House when asked if he was considering taking steps to fire the special counsel.
Democrats have recently rallied around the notion of impeaching Trump if he were to fire Mueller.
“ABSOLUTE RED LINE: the firing of Bob Mueller or crippling the special counsel’s office,” former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted Sunday. “If removed or meaningfully tampered with, there must be mass, popular, peaceful support of both. The American people must be seen and heard – they will ultimately be determinative.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has frequently said the special counsel probe will be wrapped up soon, and CNN reported Monday that Trump thinks Mueller will exonerate him.
New York Republican Rep. Peter King warned on Fox News that getting rid of Mueller would be counterproductive and that Trump should listen to his attorneys and let the investigation play out.
“I think there have been mistakes in this investigation, but I think the worst thing the president could do right now is to remove Mueller, not cause he is doing such a great job, but cause the president’s lawyers are confident this is going in the right direction. I don’t want to give the Democrats, the media an opportunity to blow this up and come up with another phony issue,” King said last week.