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

Lucy Bush
June 17, 2017

The only man who can fire special counsel Robert Mueller, the man charged with investigating Russian interference in the USA election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign, says he sees no good cause to do so. When they-when Comey does things the president doesn't like, when Mueller, who seems that he will pursue this wherever it leads, gets under the skin of some people, they say, maybe they'll fire him.

He told senators during a committee hearing that there would have to be "good cause" for Mueller to be removed from his role. Still, Gingrich said any special counsel with an agenda can "all of the sudden find something procedural and technical to latch onto". "The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal", it says. Ruddy told PBS that he thinks it would be "a very significant mistake" for Trump to seek Mueller's termination.

"I'm not going to follow any orders unless they are a lawful order", Rosenstein responded. The White House has denied those claims. And leading Republican legislators on Tuesday waved off the idea of firing Mueller, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying that his advice was to "let Robert Mueller do his job" and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voicing confidence in the special counsel.

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

In Mueller's case, Trump would have to ask Rosenstein to do the firing.

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Trump, however, lacks the legal authority to directly fire Mueller.

White House staffers made a concerted effort to talk Trump down from ordering that Mueller be fired, the paper said.

Special counsel former FBI Director Robert Mueller could only be fired by Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Both Gingrich and Ken Starr were closely involved in the investigation and impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

The White House was quick to dismiss Ruddy's comments.

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

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The discussion on Mueller's investigation came after some of Trump's closest allies - including one of his sons - began questioning whether the wide-ranging probe is becoming too political.

Sessions is scheduled to testify Tuesday afternoon in open session before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The White House did not immediately issue a comment.

Sources have told CNN that multiple advisers have counseled Trump against firing Mueller.

Neither Trump nor Attorney General Jeff Sessions has offered public support for Mueller. Ruddy later confirmed the comment to CNN.

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