Trump friend clashes with White House over special counsel claims

White House Trump won’t sack special counsel Robert Mueller

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.

Mueller, who directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was named to the post last month by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The new talk about dismissing Mueller appeared to be coming from Trump allies - including some close to White House strategist Steve Bannon - who are increasingly frustrated with the prospect of a long and winding probe.

Comey said Trump told him he hoped Comey would "let go" of his investigation of the president's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and also asked Comey to pledge his personal loyalty and to "lift the cloud" of the Russian Federation probe.

During testimony to a budget panel Rosenstein said he has seen no cause for Mueller's dismissal and that he will be given "full independence" from the Department of Justice to conduct his investigation.

Ruddy argued that Mueller should not have taken the job of special counsel because he was under consideration for the other position, and had had the private meeting with the president for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director appointment. Congressman Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, said he has "confidence" in Mueller. Senators on Tuesday questioned both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on how the inquiry is being handled.

Noted Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich, a former Speaker of the House, reversed himself this week and began attacking Mueller as a vicious partisan whose hiring of Democratic loyalists as deputies has cast his impartiality into doubt.




Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, raised the possibility of the president considering terminating Mueller.

"I think he's weighing that option", Mr.

Mueller, who was appointed to oversee the investigation last month, was roundly praised by Democrats and Republicans as the right person for the job, but Trump was not pleased. "Trump is definitely considering it ... it's not something that's being dismissed", Ruddy said.

"I think the White House communications office is doing a disservice to the president by not focusing on the fact that you have several top prosecutors with [special counsel] Mueller that have donated to Obama and campaigns", Ruddy said.

Some have compared Trump's firing of then-FBI Director James Comey in May to the storied "Saturday Night massacre" that occurred during Richard Nixon's presidency. Even though it is reported that the president understands how risky firing Mueller will be, those close to him feel that Trump is "so volatile they can not be sure that he won't change his mind if he finds out anything to lead him to believe the investigation has been compromised".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said via email, "Chris speaks for himself". "So I think the best advice will be to let Robert Mueller do his job".

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