White House Says Trump Has 'No Intention' To Fire Special Counsel

Trump may sack special counsel in Russia inquiry, says friend

Yesterday, a close confidant of Trump, Newsmax website chief executive Chris Ruddy, said following a White House visit that the president is considering firing Mueller.

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

The topic of both hearings is the Justice Department's budget. If Trump were to make such a move, he would have to order Rosenstein to fire Mueller.

"As long as I'm in this position, he's not going to be fired without good cause", Rosenstein said. Rosenstein responded: "No I have not". "If there were not good cause, it would not matter to me what anybody said", he said.

Now, Trump could order Rosenstein to fire Mueller.

The former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a long-time supporter of Mr. Trump's, said in a tweet on Monday that it was time to "rethink" Mr. Mueller's ability to be fair. Gen. Jeff Sessions rightly recused himself from any investigation connected with the election.

Ruddy went on to say: "Don't waste your time trying to undermine one of your allies". He later noted that it was up to Mueller to determine whether the issue might be part of his investigation, and he thought Mueller "ought to review that".

In the memo in question, Rosenstein criticized Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

"I think the White House communications office is doing a disservice to the president by not focusing on the fact that you have several top prosecutors with [special counsel] Mueller that have donated to Obama and campaigns", Ruddy said. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

Rosenstein had gone before the Committee's Senate counterpart earlier in the day.

Rosenstein's testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee occurred just hours before Sessions was to testify in a public hearing before another Senate panel about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and his involvement in the firing of another Federal Bureau of Investigation chief, James Comey. "In recent days, the president has told his staff, his visitors, and his outside advisers that he was increasingly convinced Mueller, like Comey, his successor as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was part of a "witch hunt" by partisans who wanted to see him weakened or forced from office", the daily said.

Ruddy was at the White House on Monday to meet White House aides, but did not speak with the president, Spicer said.

The White House was quick to dismiss Ruddy's comments.

Ruddy says he has not talked to Trump about Mueller but insists that his sourcing on the story is air tight.

Spicer did not outright discount the notion of removing the special counsel, but he noted Ruddy was not a spokesman for Trump.

Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey worked closely for years in the George W. Bush administration, when Mueller was FBI director and Comey was deputy attorney general.

During his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions said he had not met with any Russians during the campaign.

NPR reported last week that Mueller had been on the White House shortlist to succeed Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director before the Justice Department named him as special counsel. That was the upshot of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's testimony before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday.

'I have no idea, ' Sessions replied.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said it would be "extraordinarily unwise".

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