Trump may 'terminate' Russian Federation probe's Mueller says president's pal

Lucy Bush
June 18, 2017

Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, said in an interview on PBS NewsHour on Monday that President Trump is considering firing Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Trump called because "I have been very clear" about Mueller and the lawyers he's hired amounting to a "rigged game", Gingrich said.

Forewarned is forearmed. So perhaps the country is lucky that President Trump's allies have floated the possibility that he might fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mr Trump's friend Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, went even further, suggesting the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mr Mueller.

Ruddy also stated that Trump would be within his right to fire Mueller since there are certain conflicts of interest that exist regarding the past relationship shared by the president and the special counsel.

Allies of the President cast doubt on the idea that Mr Trump would take such a drastic step, and officials said Mr Ruddy had not met Mr Trump directly while visiting the White House on Monday.

Mr Mueller, who was tasked by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with overseeing the justice department's investigation, has started selecting members of his team, many of them criminal law experts. "I think he's weighing that option".

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Both Fleischer and Gingrich had previously vouched for the character and integrity of Mueller, who was appointed Federal Bureau of Investigation director by Bush and whose term was extended an extra two years by Democratic President Barack Obama.

Federal regulation states that the termination of a special counsel would have to come from the attorney general's office.

The White House, however, said Trump and Ruddy have never discussed the issue. "With respect to this subject, only the president [or] his attorneys are authorized to comment".

Apart from Rosenstein and Sessions, the only confirmed Justice official is Rachel Brand, the associate attorney general, whom the Senate approved on a party-line vote.

Another talk-radio Trump booster, Laura Ingraham, who was rumoured to have been considered for a White House position, directed her followers to a story in a conservative newspaper that suggests Mueller might be tainted.

Rosenstein said that because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation matter, Mueller could only be fired by Rosenstein himself.

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But people close to Mr. Trump say he is so volatile they can not be sure that he will not change his mind about Mr. Mueller if he finds out anything to lead him to believe the investigation has been compromised.

For many, the prospect of Mueller's firing immediately brought to mind the 1973 dismissal of special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal.

They say Mr Trump did not collude with Russian Federation and see the investigation as a politically-motivated sham that handicaps his ability to execute his agenda, according to one person who advises the White House on how to handle the probe.

Trump refused to respond to a reporter asking four times Tuesday whether he will fire Mueller, potentially trying to create some suspense.

Gingrich's argument is more straightforward: Mueller is biased and unfair.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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