Christopher Ruddy, the founder of Newsmax Media and close friend of President Trump, told PBS News Hour Monday that he believes the president is considering perhaps terminating special counsel Robert Mueller, “the mens” charged with analyse Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible collusion with Trumps campaign.
The commentaries come amid increasing annoyance at the White House and among Trump advocates that the investigation will overshadow the president's agenda for months to come a prospect that has Democrat are hoping for.
When reached by Fox News after the statements, Ruddy told, while I am not claiming the president said it to me, I am confident of my sourcing. He is definitely considering it as an option.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, told Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this. With respect to this subject, only the president of his attorneys are authorized to comment.
The New York Times reported that to fire Mueller, Trump would have to order Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to turn back regulations that protect the special counsel from being fired for no good reason. If Rosenstein refused, Trump could fire Rosenstein.
As Mueller builds his legal squad, Trump's allies has already begun creating the issue of the former FBI director's impartiality, suggesting he cannot be trusted to lead the probe.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal Trump adviser, tweeted Monday, “Republicans are delusional if they believe the special counseling is going to be fair. Seem who he is hiring.”
Just weeks ago, Gingrich had heaped praise on Mueller, hailing him as a “superb choice” for special counseling whose reputation was “impeccable for franknes and integrity.”
But after the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey last week, Gingrich said he'd changed his mind.
“Time to rethink, ” he tweeted Monday, citing Mueller's hiring decisions and Comey's admission that he'd instructed a friend to share with reporters notes he'd taking into consideration his private conversations with Trump in order to force the appointment of special counsel.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter offered a similar message, tweeting, “Now that we know TRUMP IS NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION, Sessions should take it back& fire Mueller.”
The talk about dismissing Mueller appeared to be coming from Trump allies including some close to White House strategist Steve Bannon who are increasingly frustrated with the prospect of a long and gale probe.
They say Trump did not collude with Russia and find the investigation as a politically motivated sham that handicaps Trump's ability to execute his agenda, according to one person who advises the White House on how to handle the probe. The person demanded anonymity to discuss strategy on the sensitive matter.
Ruddy appeared to be basing his statements, at least in part, on commentaries from Jay Sekulow, a is part of Trump's legal team, who told ABC in an interview Sunday that he was “not going to speculate” on whether Trump might at some phase order Rosenstein to fire Mueller.
“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 advise and inside the government as well as outside. And I'm not going to theorize on what he will or will not do, ” Sekulow told. Still, he added, “I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise.”
Fox News' Serafin Gomez, Ed Henry and The Associated Press contributed to this report
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