Trump 'considering firing special counsel'

Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media and a longtime Trump friend, said during an interview the president is considering "perhaps, terminating the special counselor".

Firing Mueller would not move the country past the Russian collusion allegations and would simply serve to make denser the cloud of speculation about Russian interference around the White House. "Mr Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue", an official said.

Last night, Trump ally Chris Ruddy announced that the president was also thinking about whether he would fire Robert Mueller, who is now leading the special investigation into Russian Federation.

Mueller was interviewed by the Justice Department and by the president for the director's position, according to a senior White House official.

Asked in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing if there was any cause to fire Mueller, Rosenstein flatly replied: "No".

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But Ruddy opened a new line of questions about Mueller's impartiality - the fact that Trump had considered Mueller for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's job before he was named special counsel. "If there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me what anybody says".

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) asked Rosenstein about these reports before reading several regulations for when a special prosecutor can be removed from their position. The comments come amid increasing frustration at the White House and among Trump supporters that the investigation will overshadow the president's agenda for months to come - a prospect that has Democrats salivating.

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 US elections and possible Russian ties to Trump's campaign.

What is clear is that he could order the Justice Department to ax Mueller, which may result in Rosenstein's departure and would certainly intensify the uproar over the investigation.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, warned on Twitter that "If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller".

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Trump also had other issues on his mind on Tuesday as reflected in his tweets, the Russian Federation probe among them, as he sought to deflect attention towards Hillary Clinton and the investigation into her use of a private email server that came up during fired FBI director James Comey's testimony last week.

Rosenstein said "I think the answer is no" but said it would depend on the circumstances.

Vox threw a fit over the Ruddy's claim, whining in petulance that if Mueller was dismissed it would have "seismic implications" and a declaration that Trump will fire anyone "who dares investigate him" for fear of what Mueller "might have uncovered".

Even as leading Republican legislators Tuesday waved off the idea of firing Mueller, expressions of discontent with Mueller have bubbled up nonetheless. In an interview on CNN's "New Day", Ruddy said, "I think it is a consideration the President has had because Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel". Graham also asked him if it would be a disqualifier to have worked for Hillary Clinton, who ran against President Donald Trump in the election and was a subject of a separate Justice Department investigation into her email practices.

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