Paul Ryan: 'Let Robert Mueller Do His Job'

Ruddy did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarification.

Mr Schiff spoke out after a friend of Mr Trump, Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, emerged from the White House and said the President was considering "terminating" Mr Mueller.

"I don't think the Congress would sit still and allow the president to pick his own investigator", he said.

Comey also suggested another factor in his termination was his declining to lift what Trump, during private phone conversations, described as the "cloud" of the Russian Federation probe hanging over his presidency that was making it hard for him to govern.

Trump does have the authority to remove the special counsel. This would coincide with the many news stories and opinions from Trump supporters discrediting Mueller despite their approval of his appointment by Rosenstein.

Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (left) testifies as Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats listens at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 7.

A longtime friend of President Donald Trump said Monday that Trump was considering whether to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the president's campaign and Russian officials. Trump reportedly told top Russian diplomats in the Oval Office that pressure is now taken off after firing Comey.

Mueller has been widely respected by many in Washington from both sides of the aisle, but not everyone is a fan.

The startling assertion comes as some of Trump's conservative allies, who initially praised Mueller's selection as special counsel, have begun trying to attack his credibility.

He brought on three partners from his former law firm, WilmerHale, with significant litigating experience in high-stakes cases. I don't care if you're left, right, Republican, Democrat, does that sound fair, honest, objective to you? He said that campaign donations to Democrats don't present a conflict of interest but that previous work with the Clinton Foundation and for the Clintons might.

Trump surrogates like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich don't believe Trump would take such an explosive step. "Look who he is hiring". "Time to rethink", he tweeted. "The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal", it says.

"His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity", Gingrich said at the time.

The White House, however, said Trump and Ruddy have never discussed the issue.

"When the day comes that our country can not rely on people to deliver the truth about whatever the subject is from positions of great authority and great reputations, like Mueller, and if we just dismiss those as not being not able to deliver us the truth about an issue we've got more problems than we think we have", Womack said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said via email, "Chris speaks for himself".

"The President did talk with him in the days before he was named special counsel", Ruddy told PBS on Monday in the same interview where he said Trump was "considering terminating" Mueller as special counsel.

Several theories abound so far.

  • Zachary Reyes