'SNL': Robert De Niro Returns as Robert Mueller in Cold Open

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said there is no need for it, but other Republicans, like Arizona Sen.

In the last 24 hours, the American people have quickly gotten to know Matthew Whitaker, a former U.S. Attorney and Justice Department chief of staff who President Donald Trump has chosen to take over from the abruptly fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In a letter to the Justice Department's chief ethics officer, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats advised Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing Special Counsel Mueller's probe.

The Internet is exploding with the breaking news that the man President Donald Trump installed as Acting Attorney General was a paid advisor to a company that has been under criminal investigation by federal authorities. Whitaker has criticized the Mueller investigation and, while Sessions had recused himself, citing a conflict because of his involvement in Trump's campaign, Whitaker has not done so yet.

In a statement Thursday, the Republican said Whitaker is a "steady hand that will provide good leadership and judgment, and will ensure that the United States Department of Justice upholds the highest standards of the rule of law".

Trump's naming of Whitaker set off Democrats, although Republicans have been mostly silent.

"We've been compliant, it's going to go on, nobody's interrupting it or interfering with it", Conway said on ABC.

"I imagine we would have seen an even bigger protest if it had not been on such short notice", Bryan said.

Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney from Iowa and a Hawkeye, has been an outspoken critic of the probe.

Schumer also asked Trump for "specific reasons" why he installed Whitaker in the attorney general's office rather than Rosenstein, who is next in the line of succession.

The comments have raised suspicions that Mr Whitaker could try to limit Mr Mueller's investigation. Trump never forgave the former Alabama senator for recusing himself from supervising Mueller's probe, an investigation the president has repeatedly belittled as a "witch hunt".

In addition, Mr Whitaker is also a close friend of Mr Trump's 2016 election campaign co-chair Sam Clovis, who has since become a witness in Mr Mueller's investigation.

However, with Republicans tightening their grip on the Senate, an initially magnanimous-sounding Trump suggested that a divided Congress would bring opportunity for bipartisan cooperation - something in low supply in Washington. Trump didn't hide his disappointment with Sessions' decision.

"I look forward to working with Matt Whitaker as he takes the helm of the Justice Department".

Senator Lindsey Graham said no threat to the Russian Federation probe being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is posed by Whitaker. "And my Apple Watch says I'm having a heart attack". He, of course says no, but Sessions asked if he helped with the report, to which Mueller says, "More than you'll ever know".

In an editorial for CNN.com a year ago, Whitaker made clear that he believes the president's personal finances are off limits to special counsel Robert Mueller.