Top aides talked Trump out of firing Mueller


Firing Mueller after a month in the post would be an explosive political step and inevitably raise concerns that the president was trying to obstruct an investigation affecting the White House.

Mueller was appointed special counsel after Trump fired former FBI director James Comey, who was heading up the investigation. "I think he's weighing that option".

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. The Justice Department later acknowledged Sessions's contacts with Kislyak but said they were part of Sessions's job at the time as a senator.

House Speaker Paul Ryan made it clear he doesn't agree with some who are urging President Donald Trump to fire the Justice Department's special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

"The President did talk with him in the days before he was named special counsel", Ruddy told PBS on Monday in the same interview where he said Trump was "considering terminating" Mueller as special counsel.

Even so, Gingrich said, Trump won't seek to dismiss Mueller because he's confident the probe will conclude he's done nothing wrong.

"He did not hire a single Republican in the first wave", Gingrich said. She said such a move would "destroy any shred of trust in the president's judgment that remains over here". "Can you just tell me, what is the allegation against the President or any of his officials?"

A source close to Trump said the president is being counseled to avoid firing the special counsel.

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"I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel, because Comey makes so clear that it's the poison fruit of a deliberate manipulation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation director leaking to The New York Times, deliberately set up this particular situation. I have confidence in Bob Mueller".

Mueller is the special counsel within the FBI who's been brought in to head the investigation into Trump and the Russian connection. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Rosenstein said "no, I have not", when asked by Shaheen whether he has seen good cause to fire Mueller.

President Trump is known to value the element of surprise. But the president is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside.

"No, I have not", he said. Still, he added, "I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise". Ruddy said Tuesday that he stands by his comments. Ruddy did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarification.

In 1973, amid the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

"I'm not a flak for the White House".

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on the issues Gingrich and others have raised.