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Deputy AG Rosenstein set for budget hearing Tuesday

20 June 2017

"And I'm not going to speculate on what he will or will not do", Mr Sekulow said.

My (educated) guess is that during his visit to the White House on Monday, Ruddy heard that Trump was considering firing Mueller. He said it was "pretty clear" by recent comments by one of Trump's lawyers that firing Mueller had at least been discussed. Ruddy however, doubled down on the idea, telling NBC in a statement Spicer's statement was "bizarre" and doesn't deny his claim. "With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment", White House press secretary Sean Spicer told NPR.

Rosenstein assured Feinstein the firing of Mueller would not occur without his assent.

Sanders' comment follows several days of speculation as to whether Trump was thinking about firing Mueller.

Trump has repeatedly denied colluding with Russian Federation during the presidential campaign, and Comey and others have testified that there is no evidence to the contrary. "I do not believe he will fire him, I think if he did fire him it would be a mistake".

According to Justice Department rules, special counsel Robert Mueller can not be fired without good cause.

In 1973 President Richard Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor who was leading the Watergate investigation. The reason he gave is that it could be "within the scope of Director Mueller's investigation" and that "we don't want people talking publicly about open investigations", he said. "I spoke to him last week". "There's no, 'Hey, I'm hoping.' You and I are friends, 'Hey I hope this happens, but you've got to do your job.' That's what he told Comey". He added, "I think the best vindication for the President is to let this investigation to go on independently and thoroughly".

The effort to muddy the waters surrounding the investigation is coming amid growing White House concern that the probe could detract from the president's agenda for months or years to come.

Schiff says that if Trump fires Mueller, Congress might name its own independent counsel to investigate the case.

"The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies".

Ruddy also pointed out, in an email to Politico, that he never said he had spoken to Trump personally on the matter. "I consider him a friend".

Those words don't mean Mueller won't be dismissed, it just makes it's less likely. But the narrative has gotten oxygen from Ruddy and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, .

Donald Trump's longtime confidant Chris Ruddy-who heads the conservative website Newsmax-told PBS "News Hour" that the president is "weighing perhaps terminating the special counsel" following former FBI Director James Comey's testimony last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., speaks to reporters after leaving a briefing of the full Senate by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, amid controversy.