Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

No longer out of bounds: Trump allies question Mueller probe

No longer out of bounds: Trump allies question Mueller probe

Chris Ruddy, the CEO of the conservative publication Newsmax Media organization and a friend of Donald Trump, told PBS on Monday that the president is considering terminating Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Rosenstein was likely referring to the possibility that Mueller would investigate whether Sessions violated his recusal or whether Comey's firing might have been an effort to obstruct justice.

"I don't know who you're talking to because I've had great contact with the president through many years", Ruddy said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, did say he would be "surprised" if Trump fired Mueller. In contrast, Mr Sessions said that he had agreed with Mr Comey about the need for proper communications protocol between the White house and justice officials.

If Mr Trump instructs Mr Rosenstein to dump Mr Mueller, it would evoke memories of 1973, when two top Justice Department officials, Mr Elliott Richardson and Mr Bill Ruckelshaus, resigned rather than obey then President Richard Nixon's order to fire Mr Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor conducting the Watergate investigation. Ruddy also said that Trump had interviewed Mueller for the role of FBI director before Mueller was named special counsel in charge of the Russian Federation investigation.

As expected, Mr Sessions also addressed a claim by former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey during his testimony to the committee last week that he had expressed his concern about a meeting with Donald Trump on February 14th to the attorney general but that Mr Sessions had not replied.

Sanders' comment follows several days of speculation as to whether Trump was thinking about firing Mueller. But if he tries to sack the special counsel, he will be making a bet that the country is too weak and disoriented to stand together behind its constitutional structure of law - which, really, would be the saddest outcome of all.

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Rosenstein's letter critical of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation served as the President Trump White House's first reasoning for firing Comey - though President Trump later undercut that explanation by saying he fired Comey in hopes of ending the Russian Federation probe.

He said Trump phoned him Monday to share his concerns about where Mueller's investigation is going. "I personally think it would be a significant mistake". Still, Gingrich said any special counsel with an agenda can "all of the sudden find something procedural and technical to latch onto".

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!"

In February, after talking with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Ruddy told CNN that he didn't think the president was being well-served by chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Gingrich tweeted, "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair". Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, whether he has seen good cause to fire Mueller. This left Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge of all things Russia-related, and it was Rosenstein who, in May, appointed Mueller to lead the investigation. Later in the day, however, Ruddy tweeted that he had been assured by presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner that Priebus was doing an "amazing job".

Trump supporters such as Newt Gingrich and others have seemed to be greasing the wheel for the eventual ouster of Mueller.

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