Donald Trump has 'no intention' to fire Robert Mueller

Lauren Perry
June 14, 2017

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE President Donald Trump has the right to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election and possible ties to the Trump campaign, but has no plans to do so, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday.

Trump would either have to order deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller, or alternatively, repeal a set of 18-year-old regulations protecting the special counsel.

Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel overseeing the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, deflected the question in a House committee hearing Tuesday afternoon. "If there were good cause, I would consider it", Rosentsein said, adding, "If there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me what anybody says".

Mueller is the special counsel within the FBI who's been brought in to head the investigation into Trump and the Russian connection.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US during the presidential campaign have sparked questions, is appearing before the Senate intelligence committee as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the election.

"As long as I'm in this position, he's not going to be fired without good cause", Rosenstein said.

On Tuesday night White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters flying with Trump on Air Force One that the president wasn't going to fire Mueller, tamping down such rumors. "I think he's weighing that option", Ruddy told PBS "NewsHour" when asked if Trump would let Mueller continue in his role in the Russian Federation probe.

"I know what we're investigating and he does not", Rosenstein said to Sen.

The comments came a day after a close friend of President Donald Trump was quoted in a television interview as saying the president was considering dismissing Mueller.

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Ruddy, an early donor to Trump's presidential campaign, was reportedly at the White House on Monday. He said at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

"He is being advised by many people not to do it", the source said.

"Certainly the attorney general couldn't do it, and he would have to move further down the line, and you'd have a massive firestorm on your hands, and I do think Donald Trump would be abandoned by a number of folks on Capitol Hill".

Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, meanwhile, asked Rosenstein whether a direct order from President Trump would constitute "good cause" to fire Mueller.

"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", Ruddy said on the program.

It was no t clear whether Mr Ruddy, who speaks with the president often, was basing his remarks on a specific conversation with the president or entirely on Mr Sekulow's comments. "It is certainly theoretically possible that the attorney general could fire him, but that's the only person who has authority to fire him". Ruddy did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarification.

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said he would be "surprised" if Trump fired Mueller.

Ruddy issued a terse response directed at Spicer, but also admitted he didn't speak to Trump personally about this.

Other reports by VgToday

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