President Trump not firing special counselor Robert Mueller, White House says


Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy tells Judy Woodruff of "PBS NewsHour": "I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made his second appearance before a Congressional body on Tuesday when he answered questions from the House Appropriations Committee. But both appearances, however, are being overshadowed by Sessions' public appearance at a Senate intelligence committee hearing.

The firing would have to be carried out by Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, though regulations could be "set aside", the AP reported.

"I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel, because Comey makes so clear that it's the poison fruit of a deliberate manipulation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation director leaking to the New York Times, deliberately set up this particular situation".

"While the president has every right to" fire Mr. Mueller, "he has no intention to do so", the White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters late Tuesday after a day of speculation over Mr. Mueller's fate.

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

"Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately", Rosenstein said.

He said Trump phoned him Monday to share his concerns about where Mueller's investigation is going.

Mueller's investigation will oversee an FBI probe into whether members of Trump's campaign team and his associates colluded to help Russian Federation with its interference in the election.

He is scheduled to testify before two congressional hearings on Tuesday and is likely to face even more pointed questions about the Russian Federation probe and the independence of the Justice Department in light of Ruddy's comments. If Mr Rosenstein refused, Mr Trump could fire him, too.

Last month, Gingrich had tweeted: "Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel".

Schiff told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that if Trump fired Mueller, Congress might name its own independent counsel to investigate the case.

Despite that, Trump is stewing over the Mueller-led investigation in the same way he did with Comey. The option is still on the table, but Ruddy's move takes away the president's element of surprise.

President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday during a ceremony honoring the 2016 NCAA Football National Champions Clemson University Tigers. The person demanded anonymity to discuss strategy on the sensitive matter.

"Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive". "You want to see this President in the express lane to impeachment, no ifs, ands or buts, then go for it".

"I never said I spoke to the President", he added. Ruddy later confirmed the comment to CNN.

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about Ruddy's claims.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the White House and President Donald Trump should let the special counsel's investigation continue, and await vindication. "With respect to the subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment".