White House denies Trump wants Mueller out, but heat's on

Monday, 19 Jun, 2017

High-profile supporters of President Donald Trump are turning on special counsel Robert Mueller, the man charged with investigating Russian interference in the us election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.

A close Trump associate said this week the president was considering firing Mueller, although the White House later denied it. "That hasn't been published but it's true".

A guy who led the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 12 years probably won't be intimidated by half-serious threats to can him from a job he's only held for a few weeks, especially since doing so would turn him overnight into a media martyr for the rule of law.

But Trump has made no decision to act against Mueller and insists he knows the risks of doing so - but people close to the president say Trump is so volatile they can not be sure that he will not change his mind if he finds out anything to lead him to believe the investigation has been compromised.

Ruddy appeared to be basing his remarks, at least in part, on comments from Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump's legal team, who told ABC in an interview Sunday that he was "not going to speculate" on whether Trump might at some point order Rosenstein to fire Mueller.

An event reportedly of particular interest to Mr Mueller is an exchange on March 22, when Mr Coats told associates that Mr Trump had asked him to intervene with Mr Comey to get him to back off the president's former national security adviser Mike Flynn as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into the Russian Federation affair. "One of them worked for the Clinton Foundation", Gingrich said on CBS, adding that it is a "mistake to think this is going to be some neutral investigation".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein assured Congress Tuesday that he would obey a presidential order to fire Mueller only if it were "lawful and appropriate".

Days before leaving office on May 9, Mr. Comey said federal investigators had legally seized more than 6,000 smartphones and electronic devices during a recent six-month span but found that 46 percent couldn't be opened "with any technique".

Ruddy lashed out at Spicer and the White House communications team in a Tuesday interview on MSNBC, calling their behavior "amateur hour" and accusing them of failing the president.

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

"The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn't apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired", Feinstein said. And the White House deputy press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has been asked about this many times.

Rosenstein testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he has no reason to believe the special counsel has been compromised and no reason to remove Mueller.

VEGA: That after his close friend Chris Ruddy, a conservative media mogul and ABC News contributor, said the President is indeed contemplating firing the man leading the investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Russian Federation.

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

Mr Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz issued a statement saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation was behind the Post story and called the leak "outrageous, inexcusable and illegal". We get the latest from NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker.

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. Mr. Trump ignoring shouted questions today. The White House saying Ruddy never spoke directly with the President about Mueller. Ruddy said it will not be a smart move. DO I think he'll actually fire him? No.

WELKER: Is it because of something you heard from top officials at the White House?

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