White House Says Trump Won't Fire Special Counsel Leading Russia Probe

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Tuesday that even if President Trump told him to fire Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Department of Justice investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, he would not follow the order unless he thought there was good cause.

Collins' question wasn't the only time the Mueller investigation came up during Rosenstein's hearing on Capitol Hill. The comments come amid increasing frustration at the White House and among Trump supporters that the investigation will overshadow the president's agenda for months to come - a prospect that has Democrats salivating.

Yet by doing so, Comey provided Trump's defense team an opening to question his coziness with Mueller. That prompted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Robert Mueller - himself a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director - as special counsel the following week.

President Donald Trump's friend, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy texted ABC's "Good Morning America" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday with a stern warning to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Yet it's a line of thinking that is making its way to the president's ears.

"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", Ruddy said in an interview with Judy Woodruff of "PBS NewsHour".

"It's a mistake to pretend that this is going to be some neutral investigation", Gingrich said. Sessions made that choice because of his own conversations with Russian officials during the Trump transition — a potential part of the probe. "I will defend the integrity of that investigation".

"Special counsel Mueller may be fired only for good cause, and I am required to put that cause in writing". Such a move would create a firestorm coming weeks after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Gingrich said he is troubled by Democratic donations of Mueller's picks to help lead the probe.

"Time to rethink", he tweeted Monday, citing Mueller's hiring decisions and Comey's admission that he'd instructed a friend to share with reporters notes he'd taken of his private conversations with Trump in order to force the appointment of a special counsel.

Although noting that Trump said Friday he would answer Mueller's questions under oath, Sekulow declined to rule out ordering at some later date the firing of the widely praised Mueller, who preceded Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director. The person demanded anonymity to discuss strategy on the sensitive matter. Ruddy later confirmed the comment to CNN. "But what we do know, if indeed the president does fire Mueller, it shows he's impeding the process yet again". Brian Schatz about the scope of Sessions' recusal, Rosenstein said Sessions "actually does not know what we're investigating, and I'm not going to be talking about it publicly". Still, he added, "I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise". Ruddy later confirmed the comment to CNN. Ruddy did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarification.

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