White House torn over Mueller's role as pressure grows

Trump friend Mueller'illegitimate as special counsel

U.S. President Donald Trump has "no intention" of firing special counsel Robert Mueller, the White House has said of the former FBI director who was hired by the Department of Justice last month to lead an independent investigation into Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election.

Christopher Ruddy is seen as a confidante of President Trump, so his assertion on PBS on Monday that Trump might fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller is drawing a lot of attention.

The White House has directed questions for details to outside legal counsel, which has not responded.

Rosenstein's testimony was in less than ideal alignment with what White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Air Force One as she proceeded to undercut the deputy attorney general. "I have confidence in Bob Mueller".

"Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair", former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tweeted Monday, noting that Mueller once worked with James Comey, who Trump fired as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

As expectations mounted about the upcoming open hearing of attorney general Jeff Sessions on Capitol Hill, a friend of the president added a new twist to the Russian Federation controversy by suggesting Donald Trump might be considering dismissing the special counsel investigating it.

Ruddy originally shared his belief with PBS' Judy Woodruff on "PBS NewsHour" Monday after visiting the White House earlier.

Lawmakers also asked Rosenstein whether it was appropriate for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be involved in the firing of FBI Director James Comey given Sessions' recusal from the Clinton email investigation, which he offered because of his role on the Trump campaign.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard strikes Syria for Tehran attacks
It did not immediately offer other specifics, other than to say the missiles were launched from Iran. Deir el-Zour is home to both Islamic State militants and civilians.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter offered a similar message, tweeting, "Now that we know TRUMP IS NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION, Sessions should take it back & fire Mueller".

Chief of Staff Reince Preibus-considered a casualty-in-waiting in a supposedly imminent White House staff shake up-is virulently opposed to the idea, the Times reports, while Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is said to have supported Comey's firing, has adopted a more temperate tone toward the Mueller question. Mr Ruddy said Mr Mueller has some "conflicts" because his former law firm, Wilmer Hale, also representing Ms Ivanka Trump, the President's daughter, and her husband, Mr Jared Kushner.

The former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime supporter of Trump's, said in a tweet Monday that it was time to "rethink" Mueller's ability to be fair.

So says someone who helped craft the special-counsel law.

"Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately", Rosenstein said. "I personally think it would be a significant mistake, even though I don't think there is a justification [for a special counsel]".

"Chris Ruddy speaks for himself", Spicer said. Look who he is hiring.check fec reports.

Until now, Mueller had drawn widespread praise from Republicans and Democrats alike. I never said that the President told me.

Rosenstein said that because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation matter, Mueller could only be fired by Rosenstein himself. "And I'm not going to speculate on what he will or will not do", Sekulow said.

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