Friend says Trump is considering 'terminating' Mueller

Posted June 17, 2017

Trump has made it clear that he is frustrated by the United States probe of Russian interference in the presidential election, which U.S. intelligence officials said was done to tilt the outcome in Trump's favor.

The sound of sharpening knives echoed everwhere Monday.

The president also vowed he would tell Mueller, should he be interviewed as part of the special counsel's probe, that he "didn't say" to Comey that he wanted him to drop the bureau's probe of Flynn. A senior White House official confirmed that the president had interviewed Mueller for the FBI post in the Oval Office the day before Rosenstein tapped him to be the special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation.

Chris Ruddy, the CEO of the conservative publication Newsmax Media organization and a friend of Donald Trump, told PBS on Monday that the president is considering terminating Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Ruddy appears to have based his assessment on public comments made over the weekend by a member of Trump's personal legal team.

Others sounded more enthusiastic about dropping the axe.

"You have a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation deliberately leaking in order to create a special counsel who we're now supposed to believe is going to be this neutral figure", Gingrich said Sunday. Look who he is hiring.check fec reports. Check (political donation) reports.

As Mueller has quietly begun his work - and brought onto his staff a phalanx of prosecutorial heavy hitters - the president's supporters have increasingly reacted with alarm.

"We're not going to let the President choose who conducts this investigation", he said.

Administration officials are reportedly trying to contain the fallout from the Washington Post's report that the investigation has expanded to include possible obstruction of justice.

Comey said Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before Trump asked him in February to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

This apparent effort to lay the groundwork for Mueller's firing raises a key question: Could the president do it? Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., suggesting that the attorney general was "cowering" in the face of tough questioning.

The very appointment of Mr Mueller only happened after calls for such a move sparked by Mr Comey's firing. I know the folks who wrote that. The provisions for establishing that office expired in 1999. Policy-makers created new limits on the investigator's power and placed it under the accountability of the government.

But a long-time friend of Mr Trump said the president was considering sacking Mr Mueller.

Following Ruddy's appearance on PBS, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Ruddy and Trump never talked about Mueller.

"Either of those actions was unthinkable to us back in 1999".

Would there be a Russian investigation if Mueller is fired? So no one else in the department would have the authority to do that, and you have my assurance that we're gonna faithfully follow that regulation. However, there is one small caveat that could give Trump's lawyers some wiggle room.

"I'd be surprised if he did that", the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview on the "Hugh Hewitt Show." But is there such a thing as an "infinite dare"?

Just weeks ago, Gingrich had heaped praise on Mueller, hailing him as a "superb choice" for special counsel whose reputation was "impeccable for honesty and integrity".