White House officials deny claim Trump seeking Mueller firing

Carla Harmon
June 13, 2017

A close personal friend of Donald Trump on Monday raised the politically explosive possibility that the president could take action to fire Robert Mueller, the recently appointed special counsel tasked with looking into Russian meddling in last year's election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.

Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy, a friend of the president, told the PBS NewsHour that he thinks Trump is "weighing that option".

"I think it would be unusual [Mueller] would have a confidential conversation and then, a few days later, become the prosecutor of the person he may be investigating", Ruddy said.

"Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair", Gingrich tweeted.

As Mueller has quietly begun his work - and brought onto his staff a phalanx of prosecutorial heavy hitters - the president's supporters have increasingly reacted with alarm.

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


"I think it would be odd that he would have a confidential conversation and then, a few days later, become the prosecutor of the person he may be investigating", Ruddy said.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, "Mr".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says that a history of political giving is not a disqualifier for those who work for the Department of Justice's special counsel investigating Russian interference in US elections. Mueller's law firm, WilmerHale, has represented Trump's former campaign manager and also some Trump family members. He has always been widely respected by many in Washington from both sides of the aisle, with many lawmakers praising Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein's pick.

Trump does have the authority to remove the special counsel.

He added in a separate interview with CNN that President Trump believes "Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel".

Schiff told CNN's Anderson Cooper if Mueller was ousted, Congress would have to re-establish the Independent Counsel Act that expired following the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.


"I think that Mueller should not have taken the position [as special counsel] if he was under consideration [as FBI director] and had a private meeting with the President and was privy to some of his thoughts about that investigation or other matters before the bureau".

CNN reported that Trump is being advised by top staff not to fire Mueller.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller attends the ceremonial swearing-in of his successor, James Comey, at the FBI headquarters in 2013. 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". "(Attorney General) Jeff Sessions is recused here, so it would be up to (Deputy Attorney General) Rod Rosenstein, who was the person who just appointed Bob Mueller a couple of weeks ago". "I make a decision as to what I think he would like or not like, if I share something he said". I said, ;hey, I never said I spoke to the president, ' and interestingly enough they never denied my underlying report.

There had been speculations in Washington that the President wants to terminate Mueller as special counsel.

On the one hand, Nixon's decision to fire the special prosecutor by brute force was nearly universally condemned, and it's generally regarded as one of the major turning points against the president during the Watergate scandal.


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