A longtime friend to Donald Trump said Monday that the president was considering whether to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the USA election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.
The notion was dismissed by senior White House aides later Monday evening, who said that Ruddy does not speak for the president. Now that Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation, then the authority to sack Mueller rests with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, and now may fire special counsel Robert Mueller who is also conducting an investigation into Trump's Russian Federation connections. The obstruction of justice investigation started a few days after the firing of FBI Director James Comey last month, the Post reports, and officials are also looking into possible financial crimes committed by Trump associates. Any such step would face a steep hurdle as it would require approval by the U.S. House of Representatives, which is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans. "I personally think it would be a significant mistake, even though I don't think there is a justification [for a special counsel]".
The obstruction of justice investigation into Trump began days after Comey was sacked on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter, the Washington Post said.
"Comey is a good friend of special counsel Robert Mueller - such a good friend, for about 15 years now, that the two men have been described as 'brothers in arms, '" York wrote.
"The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", a spokesman for Trump's legal team, Mark Corallo, said.
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It was not clear whether Mr Ruddy, who speaks to the president often, was basing his remarks on a specific conversation with him or entirely on Mr Sekulow's comments.
Mr Trump is yet to comment publicly on the matter and White House spokesman Sean Spicer has told Washington media Mr Mueller's sacking is unlikely.
Trump friend Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, has gone so far as to suggest the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mueller.
"The attorney general is the one who has to fire him", said CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on "Anderson Cooper 360".
Schiff says that if Trump fires Mueller, Congress might name its own independent counsel to investigate the case.
The leaders of the Senate Intelligence committee said in a statement issued Wednesday that they "look forward to future engagements" with Robert Mueller.