White House torn over Mueller's role as pressure grows

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.

Christopher Moody, CEO of conservative news outlet Newsmax Media and a friend of Trump who has spoken for him before and bluntly, said in an interview on PBS that the president was "considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel" and added, "I think he's weighing that option".

Still, it took until Tuesday night for the White House to actually dispute Ruddy's suspicion. He has always been widely respected by many in Washington from both sides of the aisle, with many lawmakers praising Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein's pick.

Asked if he had confidence in Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to lead the Russian Federation investigation, Mr Sessions replied: "I have confidence in Mr Mueller but I am not going to discuss any hypotheticals", noting that he was not involved in the Russian Federation investigation.

Rosenstein, who has been on the job for six weeks, said only he could fire Mueller, and only if he found good cause to do so.

"Mueller's selection of Dreeben suggests that the special counsel is looking very carefully into whether criminal laws were broken by the Trump campaign and the president's associates", writes Cristian Farias of the Huffington Post. "Why do we need a special counsel now?" "I think there's a conflict there".

The reason Mueller was appointed in the first place is because Trump fired Comey and Sessions, who would have ordinarily taken over the investigation, had recuse himself in March over his own Russian Federation ties.


On Trump's plane ride home after a trip to Wisconsin, Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters he "has no intention" of firing Mueller, even though she maintained that "the president has the right to".

Those with a sense of history might have noted that Mr Mueller also tabbed James Quarles, a private lawyer who was part of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in the 1970s and is well aware of the challenges of investigations that tread close to the presidency.

Sources have told CNN that multiple advisers have counseled Trump against firing Mueller. Still, Gingrich said any special counsel with an agenda can "all of the sudden find something procedural and technical to latch onto".

"Concerns are already being raised - including about Mueller's friendship with [former FBI Director James] Comey and his staff-packing with anti-Trump partisans". But with the appointment of Mueller, the near-universally praised former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, it seemed the country would have a chance to take a breath and return to something like normal order.

"No, I have not", he said. This left Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge of all things Russia-related, and it was Rosenstein who, in May, appointed Mueller to lead the investigation. "I personally think it would be a significant mistake, even though I don't think there is a justification [for a special counsel]". "Look who he is hiring". "And I'm not going to speculate on what he will or will not do", Sekulow said.

"Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the President regarding this issue", Spicer said.

Trump supporters such as Newt Gingrich and others have seemed to be greasing the wheel for the eventual ouster of Mueller.

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