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Politics Podcast: What If Trump Fires Mueller?

Over the weekend, President Trump tore into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. So the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast crew games out what would happen if Trump actually moved to fired Mueller. The team discusses possible congressional responses, public opinion and the effect on the midterms. According to Nate Silver, it would be a “catalyzing event”:

“There are two things that had a big negative effect on Trump’s approval rating, one of which was when they began to debate the health care bill and the other of which was firing [FBI Director James] Comey. That had a 3- or 4-point downward swing, which in this era is a lot. … People who are on the fence about ‘am I sympathetic to Trump or not?’ will come off the fence if Mueller is fired, and it will be a catalyzing event.”

The team also previews Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Illinois’s 3rd Congressional District, in which centrist incumbent Daniel Lipinski is being challenged from the left by political newcomer Marie Newman.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with occasional special episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

Clare Malone is a former senior political writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Micah Cohen is FiveThirtyEight’s former managing editor.

Jody Avirgan hosts and produces podcasts for FiveThirtyEight.