Ruddy later clarified to ABC News that Trump is “considering asking [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein to terminate Mueller”.
The White House has said Donald Trump “has no intention” of sacking the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Last night, a longtime friend of President Trump, Christopher Ruddy, said the president is considering firing Mueller. Susan Collins of Maine what he would do if Trump ordered him to fire Mueller, Rosenstein said, “Senator, I’m not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders”.
The White House forcefully disputed Ruddy’s claims, saying he speaks for himself, not the president.
Law enforcement sources tell CNN that the special counsel is gathering information and considering whether there is evidence to launch a full-scale obstruction investigation. “You have my assurance that we are faithfully going to follow that regulation, and Director Mueller is going to have the independence he needs”. That appeared to include Gingrich, who until recently expressed support for Mueller’s appointment on the grounds that it would alleviate pressure in the Russian Federation affair.
Trump, however, lacks the legal authority to directly fire Mueller.
Ryan said the smartest thing for the president to do would be to let the investigation continue and be vindicated.
“I’d be surprised if he did that”, the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview on the “Hugh Hewitt Show.” US Justice Department regulations outline that a special counsel can be fired by the US attorney general “for cause”. Such a move would create a firestorm coming weeks after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. “I think it’d be a disaster”.
“I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel”, the former House speaker said.
The White House, however, said Trump and Ruddy have never discussed the issue. He told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “I don’t think the Congress would sit still and allow the president to pick his own investigator”.
Mueller was succeeded by James Comey, who was sacked by Trump last month while he was overseeing the investigation into potential Russian interference into last year’s election and potential collusion with the Trump presidential campaign. According to him, “only the President and his attorneys are authorized to comment” on the subject.
Some lawmakers responded immediately to Ruddy’s comments, including Representative Adam Schiff of California, who is the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee. He’s bringing in some of the top prosecutors that have worked in the Justice Department.
It was unclear whether his tweet about being under investigation was based on direct knowledge or new media reports that suggest Mueller is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey.