>> Believe me, there's no collusion.>> With a special counsel now on the case in Washington, President Trump and his fellow Republicans may have a momentary break from the endless questions about his campaign's ties to Russia. But the let up is unlikely to last. I'm Andy Sullivan, in Washington, where Robert Mueller's appointment means that for the first time in months, the White House and Republicans in Congress aren't being hounded for an independent investigation to figure out whether Trump's campaign worked with Russia.
This breathing space, in theory, could allow them to return to their agenda. But in reality, Mueller's investigation will put further pressure on a White House that's already engulfed in turmoil, and prompt Republicans to further distance themselves from the man in the Oval Office. Trump decrying the investigation on Twitter as the single greatest witch hunt in American history.
>> Well, I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt, and there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign. But I can always speak for myself and the Russians, zero. I think it divides the country.>> House Speaker Paul Ryan putting on a brave face, as he often does on matters Trump.
>> And so I just think it's very important that people know that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. And sure, drama is not helpful in getting things done, but we're still getting things done.>> But he knows well as any that the road from here is gonna be rutted and rough.
Ryan's Republicans welcoming the special counsel after resisting the idea. Hoping they can move on, but lobbyists and lawmakers admitting that their agenda of cutting taxes and rolling back Obamacare has stalled on Capitol Hill, as they await the next bombshell. Now, they have Mueller to worry about. As special counsel, the former FBI Director will have much more independence than a regular prosecutor.
He'll have his own budget and his own staff, and he won't face day-to-day supervision from the Justice Department. Mueller's reputation as a straight shooter would make it difficult for the Justice Department to fire him if they don't like where he's going. Mueller's gonna need some time to get up to speed, but clearly a corner has been turned for Donald Trump.
Details of the probe will continue to surface, Reuters' story, out today, showing that Trump's campaign aides had contact with Russia at least 18 times. This issue is not going away.