WH: Trump Has 'No Intention' of Firing Mueller
- Author: Adam Floyd Jun 20, 2017,
Jun 20, 2017, 0:43
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.
The official, who would not detail what the two discussed during the interview, said it took place on May 16. After Mueller's appointment was announced last month, Trump floated the idea of firing him, but staffers sought to squash the idea, which they believed would "turn a bad situation into a catastrophe", The Times reported.
Deputy acting attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Justice Department's investigation into Russian Federation because attorney general has recused himself, has the power to fire Mueller.
Rosenstein told lawmakers that he had not seen good cause to fire the special counsel.
If Mueller knew he was going to be named special counsel, it is unlikely he divulged that information to Trump.
If the regulations were rescinded, Trump would no longer be required to cite any cause in removing Mueller. Senators on Tuesday questioned both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on how the inquiry is being handled.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich fanned the flames of the Mueller termination rumor in an interview Tuesday morning on CBS, saying that Trump called him Monday night and that he doesn't think the president will seek Mueller's dismissal.More news: Scottish Episcopal Church votes to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies
The president was pleased by the ambiguity of his position on Mr. Mueller, and thinks the possibility of being fired will focus the veteran prosecutor on delivering what the president desires most: "a blanket public exoneration".
The White House appeared blindsided by it, but took hours to address it, triggering speculation it was, one, a plan indeed and Moody was testing the waters for Trump, and two, it was an attempt by a anxious administration to intimidate the counsel and the formidable team of lawyers he was putting together.
The interview was first mentioned by Trump friend and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy in an interview on PBS' "NewsHour" Monday evening. Now, however, some Republicans are suggesting that Mueller ought to be dismissed, pointing to Mueller's selection of key investigators who made campaign donations to Trump's Democratic challenger, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"I think the best thing to do is to let Robert Mueller do his job".
White House officials said late Monday that Ruddy was at the White House that day, but said he hadn't meet with the president and never spoke with him about the issue.
President Trump is known to value the element of surprise. Sessions recused himself from investigations related to the Trump campaign in February, a move that also provoked Trump's ire.
Trump's best play would be to allow Mueller to do his job without interference, and - if Trump is telling the truth - declare the issue is dead for lack of substance. Trump later said he was thinking about "this Russia thing" as he chose to dismiss him because he considered claims that Russian interference in the election influenced it in his favor to be bogus, an excuse by Democrats to account for his stunning upset of Clinton.