Sarah Sanders: Donald Trump Has 'No Intention' of Firing Robert Mueller

The department would not comment on the record on whether Trump, who has repeatedly complained about leaks on the case, requested the statement.

They have done it before: Think about how it floated the idea of Mueller's potential conflicts of interest and remember those charges of Democratic ties to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe?

Christopher Ruddy, CEO of the conservative online media outlet Newsmax and a frequent, if unofficial, Trump spokesperson visited the White House on Monday afternoon.

Still, it took until Tuesday night for the White House to actually dispute Ruddy's suspicion.

At a hearing in Congress last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein mentioned that Mueller could not be dismissed directly by President, but Trump could give Rosenstein a commission to dismiss the counsel. Some 13,000 US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops are still fighting the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State, mostly by advising embattled Afghan forces. The person demanded anonymity to discuss strategy on the sensitive matter.

Perhaps the biggest question swirling around former FBI Director James Comey's testimony is whether President Trump or other White House officials obstructed justice.

The newspaper reported on Wednesday that director of national intelligence Dan Coats, head of the National Security Agency Mike Rogers, and former deputy director at the NSA Richard Ledgett, had agreed to be interviewed by Mr Mueller's investigators as early as this week.

PBS' report sparked immediate debate on Twitter.

Trump supporters like Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, have attacked Mueller and have called into question his credibility and independence.

"I think it is a consideration the President has had, because (Robert) Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel", Ruddy told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday.

It would be hard to make the case, he said, that the experience of interviewing for Federal Bureau of Investigation director would make it impossible for Mueller to fairly exercise the broad discretion afforded to prosecutors.

Several legal experts said that Mr Comey's testimony, about Mr Trump telling him he expected loyalty and hoped he could drop an investigation of a former top aide, could bolster obstruction of justice allegations against the President.

So says someone who helped craft the special-counsel law.

Ryan noted if Trump made a decision to fire Mueller, it would be a "big problem for him politically".

Rosenstein is charged with Mueller's fate because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters having to do with the Trump-Russia investigation.

And while he had recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, Sessions insisted, "I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations".

"And the reason for that is, that if it is within the scope of Director Mueller's investigation - and I've been a prosecutor for 27 years - we don't want people talking publicly about the subjects of ongoing investigation", he continued.

But Ruddy outlined what seems to be growing talk from Trump circles raising concerns about Mueller.

"Senator, I'm not going to follow any order unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders", Rosenstein said.

  • Larry Hoffman