White House Says Trump Won't Fire Special Counsel Leading Russia Probe

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

Mr Ruddy said the President was weighing whether to dismiss Mr Mueller because of concerns about conflicts of interest.

Asked about the Mueller chatter, Ryan said Tuesday that he'd only heard rumors but that the best thing for the president to do is allow himself to be vindicated by the results of the investigation.

Leahy told Rosenstein "you are not the witness who should be behind this table". "Trump is definitely considering it ... it's not something that's being dismissed", Ruddy said. Sanders said that while Mr. Trump has the right to fire Mueller, he has no intention of doing so. "I think it's an accurate statement".

He went on to add the move would have "echoes of Richard Nixon in the Saturday Night Massacre". I don't believe he will fire him. "It's beyond possibility to me that anyone is considering taking that kind of action". I do believe he has the legal right to do it. "If there were good cause, I would consider it".

Vega seemed to scoff at the Trump administration's defense when they said Ruddy didn't speak with Trump, which was something Ruddy corroborated on MSNBC.

Rosenstein's memo to Sessions about Comey was originally used to justify Comey's firing - although Trump undercut that a few days later, when he told NBC News that he fired Comey because of the Russian Federation probe. He has brought to the White House the values of a failed Atlantic City casino owner turned reality-TV star.

CECILIA VEGA: In the White House today, President Trump ignoring the question. Robert Mueller isn't a contestant on The Apprentice.

Sessions recused himself in March from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump after acknowledging that he had met twice a year ago with the Russian ambassador to the United States. "I personally think it would be a significant mistake, even though I don't think there is a justification [for a special counsel]".

"Time to rethink", he tweeted Monday, citing Mueller's hiring decisions and Comey's admission that he had instructed a friend to share with reporters notes he had taken of his private conversations with Trump in order to force the appointment of a special counsel. Well, today, Margaret Brennan tells us a number of top officials had to come to Mueller's defense.

The Times reported Trump has been bothered by conservative news reports that Mueller was close to fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Spicer did not outright discount the notion of removing the special counsel, but he noted Ruddy was not a spokesman for Trump.

In an earlier hearing Tuesday before a Senate appropriations subcommittee, Rosenstein said Mueller will have the "full independence he needs to conduct that investigation", and that he has not spoken to Mueller about the substance of the investigation since appointing him. Just ask former FBI Director James Comey.

The appearances, however, are likely to be overshadowed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' public appearance at a Senate intelligence committee hearing.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Rosenstein at a budget hearing Tuesday what he would do if Trump ordered him to fire Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the US elections and possible Russian ties to Trump's campaign.

"I can not and will not violate my duty to protect the confidential communications I have with the president", he said. Rosenstein last month appointed a special counsel to oversee the Russian Federation investigation. Will they stay or not?

Mr Trump can not directly dismiss Mr Mueller. We get the latest from NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker.

WELKER: The suggestion raised by the President's longtime friend, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy.

"Mr Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue", Mr Spicer said.

But Ruddy continued to double, triple and quadruple down Tuesday morning. But do I think it was an option or has been an option? Yes.

At a press briefing at the Capitol, Speaker Ryan said, "There is no debate that is going on here [about Mueller]".

  • Leroy Wright