White House denies Trump wants Mueller out, but heat's on

Rosenstein would be the one to fire Mueller, which he repeatedly assured senators Tuesday he would not consider without "good cause".

Technically, it's up to the attorney general to decide what to do with the special counsel. Gen. Jeff Sessions rightly recused himself from any investigation connected with the election.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Rosenstein that she believes it would be "catastrophic" if special counsel Robert Mueller were fired on the orders of President Donald Trump. I think it's very clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently.

The resounding answer was no, and the implication is that if Trump ultimately decides to fire Mueller, then Rosenstein will have to go first.

Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy stood by his claims after the White House downplayed his comments and suggested he did not know what he was talking about.

"While the president has the right to, he has no intention to do so", deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday when asked if Trump meant to fire Mueller.

Ruddy said in an interview Monday with Judy Woodruff of PBS, "I think he's weighing that option". "I know Bob Mueller". After responding that he had not, Rosenstein reassured Shaheen of his confidence in the process.

As Rosenstein said in the Senate hearing, he believes Mueller's team has both the independence and resources necessary to conduct the ongoing probe.

Replying to a question from Sen.

The White House, however, said Trump and Ruddy have never discussed the issue. "With respect to the subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment".

On Tuesday, Rosenstein also indicated his conversations with Sessions prior to Comey's dismissal could be a part of Mueller's probe.

A day before former FBI Director Robert Mueller accepted the appointment to be the special counsel probing Russian meddling in the presidential election, President Trump met with him to talk about taking another turn as FBI director.

"Let me give you a little bit of insight from inside the West Wing right now", Ryan said. "I appointed him. I stand by it... and I am going to defend the integrity of that investigation", he said.

But Ruddy opened a new line of questions about Mueller's impartiality - the fact that Trump had considered Mueller for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's job before he was named special counsel.

In 1973 President Richard Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor who was leading the Watergate investigation.

Democratic senators repeatedly criticized Sessions for dispatching Rosenstein to testify Tuesday in his place about the Justice Department's budget to an Appropriations subcommittee. (That ignores the fact that other Trump campaign figures might be under investigation.) There also have been complaints that Mueller is a friend of Comey's.

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