Ben Carson breaks with Trump administration on special counsel, Russia investigation

Ben Carson breaks with Trump administration on special counsel, Russia investigation
Ben Carson said in an interview on June 16, 2017, he believes Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor appointed to investigate potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as related obstruction of justice allegations, should be given “a chance” to conduct his inquiry. (2015 file photo/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ben Carson, the Trump administration’s secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said in an interview on Friday he believes the special prosecutor appointed to investigate potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as related obstruction of justice allegations, should be given “a chance” before being rejected. Carson’s position is a notable break from President Donald Trump’s position on the issue, as well as his communications team, which has called the allegations a “witch hunt.”

In an interview with Pete Hegseth on Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade and Friends,” Carson said special prosecutor Robert Mueller should be given “a chance” to conduct a fair investigation.

“I would give him the chance to see if he could do that because if there’s nothing there, he’s not going to find anything anyway,” Carson said.

“That has been the case now for nearly a year,” Carson continued. “There’s nothing to find; that’s why they keep going down these empty rabbit holes. That will continue to be the case because there’s nothing there.”

Carson’s suggestion that Mueller should be given “a chance” represents a remarkable departure from the position espoused by Trump and other allies. On Friday morning, Trump wrote on Twitter, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”

Just minutes earlier, Trump had referenced the “witch hunt” another time.

“Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic & jobs numbers are great. Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!” Trump wrote.

On Friday evening’s episode of “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel, host Sean Hannity, after saying it appears the “deck is stacked” against Trump in the FBI’s investigation because of some of the investigators’ ties to Hillary Clinton, asked longtime Trump supporter Newt Gingrich whether Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should recuse themselves because of their close ties to former FBI Director James Comey, who Trump fired in May.

“First of all, under the Justice Department’s own rules, Mueller has a legal obligation to recuse himself from anything involving Comey,” Gingrich said. “Which also makes you wonder why they’d pick a guy who is Comey’s close friend to investigate a situation in which inevitably involves Comey. This whole thing stinks.”

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