White House: Trump won't sack special counsel Robert Mueller

The White House was quick to react to the reports.

In launching these attacks, President Trump and his surrogates are trying to do to Mueller, and to Comey, what President Clinton did to Independent Prosecutor Kenneth Starr during the investigation into his administration in the 1990s. The White House finally said Tuesday evening that Trump has "no intention" of firing Mueller, amid speculation and concern that he was weighing that option.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, hinted broadly that the special counsel investigation could be looking at Trump during a House committee hearing on Tuesday.

Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller last month and has the authority to remove him, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that he saw no cause for Mueller's dismissal.

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.

Could the president get rid of the independent counsel leading the Russian Federation investigation?

Should Trump want to go around the department, the president would need to repeal the regulations enacted in 1999 that protect the special counsel from being summarily fired. His first target was former FBI Director James Comey who the President dismissed as "very cowardly" and as a "nut job".

"If so, I infinite dare (Trump) to fire the special counsel", he tweeted. No longer is he merely focused on the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, meaning Mueller appears also to be zeroing in on Trump's actions since taking office January 20.

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Trump aides have reportedly been telling him to steer clear of such a dramatic escalation, but allies such as Newt Gingrich have begun talking up the idea of firing Mueller, which will likely help persuade the president that the move has merit.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that Trump called him Monday night because of Gingrich's concerns about the Russian Federation probe. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Ruddy said Mueller has some "conflicts" because his former law firm also represents Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, and her husband Jared Kushner.

"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", Mr Sekulow said. And if there were good cause, I would consider it. Trump, who expressed displeasure with Session's withdrawal from the case, wouldn't hesitate to apply pressure.

"The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", Corallo told CNN. Ruddy did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarification.

Tuesday morning, Trump supporter Ari Fleischer, who served as President George W. Bush's press secretary, again highlighted the issue of Mueller's probe being handled by attorneys who have donated mostly to Democrats, a message that Donald Trump Jr. quickly retweeted to his own 1.7 million followers.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said via email, "Chris speaks for himself".

The White House has also pushed back on the "fire Mueller" speculation. Ruddy says he does not believe Trump will follow through on his consideration to remove Mueller.

  • Rita Burton