White House Says Trump Won't Fire Special Counsel Leading Russia Probe

Deputy AG: No Reason to Fire Mueller

In appointing Mueller last month, Rosenstein said that the "public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command". "And there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself - and the Russians, zero", Trump responded.

"The letter that I signed represented my views that had been formulated for some time", said Sessions during his testimony.

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, reacted to the reports Tuesday and said that Mueller should be allowed to continue pursuing the investigation independently and thoroughly.

A major test on that front will be whether the FBI is willing to release memos from former FBI Director James Comey of his conversations with President Donald Trump, now that they have been provided to Mueller. "Officials say that changed shortly after Comey's firing", the Post reports.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of OR asked Sessions about suggestions arising from Comey's testimony last week that there was something "problematic" about his recusal. I personally think it would be a very significant mistake. Firing another investigator will force even his allies in Congress to deal with constituents who will demand to know if their president is neither. And since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, Rosenstein is acting in that capacity.

Rosenstein said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

While the White House has denied any intention to fire Mueller, close associates of Trump, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, are increasingly criticizing the Russian Federation probe as too "political".

Until now, Mueller had drawn widespread praise from Republicans and Democrats alike. He added that fundraising records show some of the lawyers whom Mueller selected for his team have contributed to Democrats. It's unclear whether the president could override those rules and order Rosenstein to fire Mueller.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Rosenstein at a budget hearing Tuesday what he would do if Trump ordered him to fire Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the USA elections and possible Russian ties to Trump's campaign.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

Mueller was the Federal Bureau of Investigation director from 2001 to 2013.

Anxiety about the probe - and fresh concerns about the political leanings of some of the attorneys involved - is percolating in the West Wing of the White House.

Last night, a longtime friend of President Trump, Christopher Ruddy, said the president is considering firing Mueller.

The three officials the Post says Mueller is interviewing are Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and Richard Ledgett, the recently retired deputy NSA director.

Yet it's a line of thinking that is making its way to the president's ears.

United States attorney general Jeff Sessions has said that any suggestion of collusion between him and Russian Federation is "an appalling and detestable lie", as he appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington.

Other Trump supporters homed in on the sequence of Mueller's job interviews.

In his dramatic appearance before former colleagues, Sessions contradicted a contention made by Comey at a hearing before the same panel last week. Still, Gingrich said any special counsel with an agenda can "all of the sudden find something procedural and technical to latch onto".



Other news