White House doesn't deny Trump considering firing Mueller

Mueller, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, was appointed on May 17 and is tasked with investigating Russian interference in last year's presidential election and if associates of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials.

"I'm not able to comment on conversations with high officials within the White House", Sessions said.

Trump friend Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, has gone so far as to suggest the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mueller. "It is certainly theoretically possible that the attorney general could fire him, but that's the only person who has authority to fire him".

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, opened her line of questioning, in the hearing that was supposed to focus on the Justice Department budget, by asking if Rosenstein had seen any evidence of good cause to fire Mueller.

Schiff says that if Trump fires Mueller, Congress might name its own independent counsel to investigate the case.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Tuesday he had confidence in Mueller, and dismissed reports that Trump might fire Mueller as "rumors".

But expressions of discontent with Mueller are bubbling up nonetheless.

Republicans said it appears Democrats don't care about this anymore, ever since Comey said the president himself was not under investigation for election collusion.

President Donald Trump smiles during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on Ruddy's remarks. In general, it is impermissible to ask prospective government hires about their political leanings, including whether they've made donations. He was appointed by former President George W. Bush and his original ten-year term was given a two-year extension by former President Barack Obama. Ruddy had visited the West Wing earlier Monday.

Still, it took until Tuesday night for the White House to actually dispute Ruddy's suspicion.

Ruddy noted Tuesday morning in an email to Politico that Spicer "doesn't deny my claim the President is considering firing Mueller" and that Ruddy never claimed to have spoken with Trump about Mueller.

Mr Sessions, who was appointed as Donald Trump's top justice official, said he did not recall meeting the Russian ambassador to the United States at an April event in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington attended by the U.S. president, contrary to recent media reports.

If Trump were to make such a move, he would have to order Rosenstein to fire Mueller. The interview was first reported by PBS.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Donald Trump is considering firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating if Russian Federation colluded in last year's bitter election campaign, a friend of the USA president said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). He says he stepped aside because Justice Department rules prevent such a conflict of interest. Still, Gingrich said any special counsel with an agenda can "all of the sudden find something procedural and technical to latch onto".

Rosenstein said that if the president ordered him to fire the special counsel handling the Russian Federation investigation, he would only comply if the request was "lawful and appropriate".

In addition, Comey has said Sessions did not respond when he complained that he did not want to be left alone with Trump again.

Barry Bennett, a GOP strategist who served as an adviser to Trump's campaign, said he believed it would be too damaging for Trump to try to remove Mueller, but that he had concerns about the appearance that the probe was being politicized. "I think the best thing to do is to let Robert Mueller do his job. I have confidence in Bob Mueller".

If questions arise about what matters Sessions should stay away from, he said, a career official in Rosenstein's office is consulted.

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