The special counsel. Photo: Cliff Owen / AP

White House Legislative Director Marc Short told NBC's Chuck Todd "there's no discussion ... whatsoever" at the White House about firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, despite claims from officials of President Trump's transition team that Mueller obtained "many tens of thousands" of emails unlawfully.

"Thankfully, I'm not in communication with the transition lawyer for the Trump team. The reality is that this administration has complied in every single possible way with the special counsel. Tax payers have spent millions and millions of dollars on this investigation that has not yet proven any sense of collusion with the Russians."

More on Mueller:

  • Sen. Joe Manchin told Todd, "I do not at all believe that Mr. Mueller has been compromised or his investigation. … He is the person, the right person, that when he finishes his investigation that we're going to have confidence it was done in a fair and balanced way."
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNN's State of the Union that he "has no reason to believe" that Trump will fire Mueller and that he believes the probe is a "giant distraction."

Go deeper

SurveyMonkey poll: Trump improves, but not enough

Trump and Biden during the final debate. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

President Trump's final debate performance exceeded Americans' expectations, but it wasn't enough to shift the dynamics that left him trailing Joe Biden across most measures, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

What they're saying: "Liar" was the word used most by debate watchers to describe Trump's performance, followed by "lies," "strong," "presidential" and "childish." "Presidential" was the word used most to describe Biden's performance, followed by "liar," "weak," "expected" and "honest."

Hunter Biden saga dominates online debate

Data: NewsWhip; Table: Axios Visuals

The mainstream media turned away. But online, President Trump's charges about Hunter Biden were by far the dominant storyline about the final presidential debate, according to exclusive NewsWhip data provided to Axios.

  • Coverage of business dealings by Joe Biden's son — and pre-debate allegations by one of his former business associates, Tony Bobulinski — garnered more than twice as much online activity (likes, comments, shares) as the runner-up.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

America's poor health is jeopardizing its future

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

From high levels of obesity and opioid addiction to inequities in access to care, America's pre-existing conditions make the country an easy target for COVID-19, as well as future pandemics that could cripple the United States for decades to come.

Why it matters: One of the best ways the country could prepare for future threats — and boost its economy — is to improve Americans' overall health.