Close associates of Trump, including longtime confidante and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, have floated the theory that the president is considering firing Mueller, who was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The next day, Comey says Trump summoned him to dinner to ask for his loyalty. We don't have to believe former FBI Director James Comey's account of Trump's threats and blandishments. According to the Times, the president began toying with the idea of dismissing Mueller shortly after he was appointed following the dismissal F.B.I. director James Comey, who was, at the time, overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.
Trump allies in the conservative press have increasingly argued in recent days that the president should fire special counsel Robert Mueller - and on Monday night, a friend of Trump's said on television that he'd heard (through aides) that the president was considering doing just that. 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". "I think it is", Ruddy said.
White House staffers have nonetheless sought to talk Trump down from the idea.
The attorney general typically oversees the special counsel, but in this case Rosenstein is responsible for Mueller because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from matters related to any Russian Federation investigation.
Richardson refused and resigned, as did Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus.
Speaking at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing today (June 13), Rosenstein confirmed Trump could not legally outright fire Mueller himself, and assured senators that the Justice Department has given Mueller the "full independence he needs to conduct that investigation". "If there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me what anybody says". Read Also: Trump to announce Cuban policy next weekSeveral lawmakers came out in support of Mueller.
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.
"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", Ruddy said in an interview with Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour.
Sessions says he was involved in Comey's firing because he oversees the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But the president is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside. "It is certainly theoretically possible that the attorney general could fire him, but that's the only person who has authority to fire him".
"I know Bob Mueller and I have confidence in Bob Mueller", House Speaker Paul Ryan said. Since Sessions is recused, the text of the regulations would leave it up to Rosenstein - and only him by his "personal action" - to remove Mueller for "good cause".