Trump Friend Claims President Toying With Firing Mueller
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 16, 2017,
Jun 16, 2017, 20:37
Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy tells Judy Woodruff of "PBS NewsHour": "I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel". The White House finally said Tuesday evening that Trump has "no intention" of firing Mueller, amid speculation and concern that he was weighing that option.
Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders spoke with reporters not long after the hearing and said the president was able to watch parts of it.
Under current Justice Department regulations, such a firing would have to be done by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' deputy, Rod Rosenstein, not the president- though those regulations could theoretically be set aside. Mueller's inquiry may also now include questions about whether Trump tried to influence the FBI investigation. "But I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise" with Mueller, said Sekulow.
Ruddy told CNN on Tuesday that Mueller and Trump "had a private conversation" and suggested it was "unethical" before the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director was named special counsel. Newt Gingrich, who is close to Trump, tweeted: "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair". Ruddy later confirmed the comment to CNN.
Sekulow also claimed in the interview that Comey's testimony to Congress on Thursday was reviewed in advance by special counsel Mueller. Rosenstein said he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.
Both Rosenstein and Sessions are testifying Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Tuesday he had confidence in Mueller and that he should be left alone to conduct an independent investigation, NPR's Susan Davis reports.
If Trump is wise, he'll leave Mueller in place and let this investigation run its course.
"Gingrich praised Mueller for his "impeccable" reputation, and "honesty and integrity", adding the "[media] should calm down". 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.
"That's a decision that the president will make in consultation with his chief lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, and that the president said he'll address next week", he said.