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Trump's friend says he is considering sacking Russian Federation investigation special counsel

18 June 2017

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told senators during the appropriations subcommittee hearing that he has not seen any evidence of good cause for firing Robert Mueller III, whom he appointed as special counsel to supervise the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already rescued himself from the Russian Federation investigation, Mueller's fate rests in the hands of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who wrote a memo the White House at one point claimed influenced the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

It took about 24 hours, but the White House has knocked down speculation that President Donald Trump considered firing special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

In his interview, Ruddy said Trump had interviewed Mueller for the position of Federal Bureau of Investigation director several days before Rosenstein appointed him special counsel. Rosenstein has served as acting attorney general for the Russian Federation investigation since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from that investigation in March.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is on Capitol Hill today at 10 a.m. ET, addressing the budget appropriations committees for both the House and the Senate.

Rosenstein said he appointed Mueller and he stands by the decision. Sekulow said he wasn't going to speculate on whether the president might order Mueller's firing.

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The reports started when a friend of the president's, Chris Ruddy, told reporters that the president was considering Mueller's termination.

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.

"With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment", Spicer said.

President Trump is said to be weighing the ouster of Mueller.

Gingrich, who only a few weeks ago called Mueller a "superb choice" with an "impeccable" reputation, tweeted on Monday: "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair".

Former United States attorney Barbara McQuade, who served under the Barack Obama administration, told the Daily Beast if Trump fired Mueller "and it could be shown that his objective was to impede the investigation, it could be additional evidence of obstruction of justice".

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One of Trump's lawyers dodged a direct question on TV about whether Trump would promise not to get rid of Mueller.

Ruddy said the ethics behind Mueller's presence are concerning considering how he was appointed to be special counsel.

In an interview with PBS Newshour, he said: "I think he is considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel".

The Senate Intelligence Committee hearing is the latest step in multiple ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in last year's US presidential election. Pence's office confirmed he had retained Richard Cullen, a former Virginia attorney general and US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to assist "in responding to inquiries" from Mueller.

Sessions says he was there for a speech by then-candidate Donald Trump and members of Sessions' staff were also in attendance. Still, he added, "I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise". But his comment left open the possibility that the investigation does cover the chain of events that led to Trump firing Comey.

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Trump's friend says he is considering sacking Russian Federation investigation special counsel