The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee believes President Trump is laying the groundwork to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's future findings in the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
Rep. Adam Schiff told ABC on Sunday rumors about Trump possibly firing Mueller and Trump surrogates raising issues about the special investigation's connections to Democrats are an attempt to undermine the investigation.
"The president wants to take down Bob Mueller, his lawyer wants to take down Bob Mueller and the question is why," he said. "I think the answer is they want to discredit whatever Bob Mueller comes up with."
He added, "That's all that's happening here. I don't think we ought to acquiesce to the besmirching of this good man."
.@RepAdamSchiff: Trump team engaging in "scorched earth" strategy "to lay the foundation to discredit whatever Bob Mueller comes up with." pic.twitter.com/578RILlPEg— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 18, 2017
Schiff said Mueller has a sterling bipartisan reputation and should be considered beyond partisan bickering. Schiff said he's confident Mueller is hiring people who will get the job done in a non-partisan way, and speculation to the contrary is misguided.
Schiff also criticized Speaker Paul Ryan's comments this week that Trump's missteps and ethical issues can be chalked up to Trump being a novice politician who isn't used to the way Washington works.
"We don't have one ethical standard for this president that we don't have for other presidents," Schiff said.
"It's a dodge by our speaker to suggest we hold this president to a weaker or lesser ethical standard," he added.