Veteran Republican Senator Chuck Grassley reportedly said:
"It would be suicide for the president to fire Mueller."
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said:
"I think it would be a massive mistake for the president to do anything to interfere with this investigation."
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that if Trump fired Mueller...
"it would be the beginning of the end of his presidency."
Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said:
"I think it would provoke some sort of reaction by Congress. I think he knows that."
"The president can't just fire Mr. Mueller. He's got to direct Mr. Rosenstein to fire him, and I don't think Mr. Rosenstein would do it."
The White House would beg to differ with this opinion, however.
In her afternoon briefing, when asked whether Donald Trump has the power to fire Robert Mueller, Sarah Sanders confirmed:
"He certainly believes he has the power to do so."
Sarah Sanders: Trump “certainly believes he has the power“ to fire Robert Mueller. (via ABC) https://t.co/qtysO8K2pF— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin) 1523385958.0
She was pressed to elaborate:
“I want to clarify something you said earlier — you said the president believes he has the power to fire Robert Mueller? Because usually most legal experts believe that he would have to order deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller, and Rosenstein could of course refuse."
To which Sanders replied:
“We’ve been advised that the president certainly has the power to make that decision. I know a number of individuals in the legal community, and including at the Department of Justice, said he has the power to do so."
As Think Progress notes, this represents a change from the White House's previous statements on the matter, as it implicitly admits that they have sought counsel on the matter.
Previously, White House Counsel Ty Cobb had stated:
“In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the Administration, the White House yet again confirms that the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller."
Many on Twitter weighed in on Sanders's admission:
BREAKING: Sarah Sanders says the White House has been advised that the president has the authority to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.— Ali Velshi (@Ali Velshi) 1523386512.0
Sanders says Trump and people "in the legal community" believe Trump has the power to fire Mueller. She suggests, t… https://t.co/4g9arBT1MN— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale) 1523386365.0
So now Sarah Huckabee Sanders is saying that she believes and trump believes he has the power to fire Robert Muelle… https://t.co/zFO3NvAjeD— Ricky Davila (@Ricky Davila) 1523391451.0
BREAKING: Sarah Sanders says Trump has the authority to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That would be Obstruc… https://t.co/LEtgmaxgch— PoliticsVideoChannel (@PoliticsVideoChannel) 1523392843.0
Sanders also made clear that Trump's frustration with Mueller's probe is that he feels the investigation "has gone too far" although she declined to elaborate.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says President Trump thinks special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe “has g… https://t.co/bX7oBvGvph— CNN Politics (@CNN Politics) 1523385919.0