White House torn over Mueller's role as pressure grows

White House Trump won’t sack special counsel Robert Mueller

Rosenstein would be the one to fire Mueller, which he repeatedly assured senators Tuesday he would not consider without "good cause".

"The people in the administration were quick to reach out to me and say Chris Ruddy doesn't speak for this administration", Scarborough said.

Still, Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax and a Trump friend, suggested the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mueller from his position as special counsel.

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.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Rosenstein if he would fire Mueller if Trump asked him to. "I will defend the integrity of that investigation", Rosenstein said.

Lawmakers also asked Rosenstein whether it was appropriate for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be involved in the firing of FBI Director James Comey given Sessions' recusal from the Clinton email investigation, which he offered because of his role on the Trump campaign.

Ruddy, an early donor to Trump's presidential campaign, was reportedly at the White House on Monday. Rosenstein last month appointed a special counsel to oversee the Russian Federation investigation.

"The letter that I signed represented my views that had been formulated for some time", said Sessions during his testimony.

Trump's allies have begun raising questions about the former FBI director's impartiality, suggesting he can not be trusted to lead the investigation.


During an NBC interview days later, Trump admitted that his frustration over the ongoing Russian Federation probe played a role in his decision to fire Comey.

"Something about the way I was conducting it, the president felt, created pressure on him that he wanted to relieve".

White House staffers made a concerted effort to talk Trump down from ordering that Mueller be fired, the paper said. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was put in charge of the Russian Federation probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, made the announcement May 18.

Is Trump considering firing special counsel...

A senior White House official commented on Ruddy's assertions.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said President Donald Trump should not interfere with Independent Counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia probe. But after the testimony of the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey to a Senate committee last week, Gingrich said he had changed his mind. "And I'm not going to speculate on what he will or will not do", Sekulow said.

But both appearances, however, are being overshadowed by Sessions' public appearance at a Senate intelligence committee hearing. He did not notify White House or Attorney General in advance of his move.

Ruddy was at the White House on Monday but did not meet with the president, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. Ruddy later confirmed the comment to CNN.

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