Friend says Trump is considering 'terminating' Mueller

PBS's Judy Woodruff reported Monday that Trump friend Chris Ruddy told her after visiting the White House that Trump is "considering perhaps terminating" Mueller - a decision that would set off a massive political backlash. "I think there's a conflict there". "(Attorney General) Jeff Sessions is recused here, so it would be up to (Deputy Attorney General) Rod Rosenstein, who was the person who just appointed Bob Mueller a couple of weeks ago".

Comey and Mueller had worked together during the George W. Bush administration when Comey was deputy attorney general and Mueller was Federal Bureau of Investigation director, a position he kept until late 2013, when Comey succeeded him.

High-profile supporters of Donald Trump have begun attacking the independent investigator looking into the Russian Federation affair, raising the question of whether the president could indeed attempt to fire him.

Mr Trump's defence lawyer Jay Sekulow acknowledged that the President had agreed to be questioned under oath, but he refused to rule out whether Mr Mueller would also be fired in the future.

"Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive".

"But the President is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside. And I'm not going to speculate on what he will or will not do", Sekulow said.

Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff has publicly warned Mr Trump that Congress would find a way to reappoint Mr Mueller if he was sacked.

A source close to the President told CNN's Jim Acosta that Trump is being counseled to steer clear of such a dramatic move like firing the special counsel.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of NY said, "He should make them public right away". Obviously, this would give the Congress significant authority and power over the president, whose authority is to counter the legislative branch's powers. There's no reason to fire Mueller.

They say Mr Trump did not collude with Russian Federation and see the investigation as a politically-motivated sham that handicaps his ability to execute his agenda, according to one person who advises the White House on how to handle the probe. On Saturday, while being interviewed by Trump ally Judge Jeanine Pirro on Fox News, Donald Jr. seemed to contradict his dad's version on Comey's firing, Huffington Post reported.

Technically, it's up to the attorney general to decide what to do with the special counsel.

"Look at what Comey said. It was then discussed and then ... a large part [of that testimony] was based on leaked information".

Mr Ruddy said Mr Mueller's law firm also represented members of the Trump family. He told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that "I don't think the Congress would sit still and allow the president to pick his own investigator".

"I think that Mueller should not have taken the position [as special counsel] if he was under consideration [as FBI director] and had a private meeting with the President and was privy to some of his thoughts about that investigation or other matters before the bureau".

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