Trump's friend Christopher Ruddy says President 'considering' firing 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.

Supporters of President Donald Trump floated the idea Monday that Trump should fire Mueller, and Chris Ruddy, a Trump confidant, told reporters after leaving the White House yesterday that Trump was considering doing just that. "I personally think it would be a very significant mistake", Ruddy said Monday, PBS Newshour reported.

Mr Ruddy appeared to be basing his remarks, at least in part, on comments from Jay Sekulow, a member of Mr Trump's legal team, who told ABC in an interview on Sunday that he was "not going to speculate" on whether Mr Trump might at some point order Mr Rosenstein to fire Mr Mueller.

Ruddy also stated that Trump would be within his right to fire Mueller since there are certain conflicts of interest that exist regarding the past relationship shared by the president and the special counsel.

But in this particular case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from anything relating to the Russian Federation investigation.

"If you want to see the President on a fast track to impeachment, then he should take this advice and fire Mueller", said Illinois Representative Luis GutiƩrrez in a speech on the House floor Tuesday. He thinks Trump is "weighing that option".

"At the end of the day it's ill-advised even if the president could [fire Mueller]".

Federal regulation states that the termination of a special counsel would have to come from the attorney general's office.

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"Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue", Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said in a statement hours later. "With respect to this subject, only the president [or] his attorneys are authorized to comment".

Sessions is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday afternoon.

"I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel", the former House speaker said. "If there were not good cause, it would not matter what anybody says".

Sessions criticized Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which the White House had initially cited as the ostensible reason for his firing. "I know. I wrote the rules".

On the other hand, Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump's legal team, suggested the possibility that the President could fire the special counsel if he believes that the Russian Federation probe is compromised.

Ruddy called out what he described as "conflicts" surrounding Mueller's law firm, WilmerHale, which has represented Trump's former campaign manager and members of the Trump family. Trump, who isn't typically shy about leveling criticism, especially on Twitter, hasn't commented on the longtime former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

A person close to Trump's legal team said earlier Tuesday that there have been no discussions about firing Mueller with the legal team. But Gingrich said that Mueller will only "annoy" but not "get Trump". Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Rosenstein during an open Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing what he would do if Trump asked him to fire Mueller.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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