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Who can fire special counsel Robert Mueller?

15 June 2017

President Donald Trump has the right to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election and possible ties to the Trump campaign, but has no plans to do so, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, Trump supporter Ari Fleischer, who served as President George W. Bush's press secretary, again highlighted the issue of Mueller's probe being handled by attorneys who have donated mostly to Democrats, a message that Donald Trump Jr. quickly retweeted to his own 1.7 million followers.

"The FBI's leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal, " said Mark Corallo, spokesman for Trump's outside legal team.

President Trump has railed against the Russian Federation investigation, describing it as a "witch hunt".

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The report also indicates that NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will sit for interviews with Mueller in the near future.

White House spokesperson Sean Spicer did not explicitly endorse Sessions' appearance, saying in response to a question, "We're aware of it, and we'll go from there".

Comey had confirmed during a congressional testimony in March that the FBI was investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, which included possible collusion between the country and Trump associates.

The meeting comes a day after lawmakers questioned Justice Department officials about the probe and Mueller's independence, and after a friend of Trump said the White House was considering firing Mueller.

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President Trump and Robert Muller.

Mueller's investigative team has expanded in recent weeks.

Mr Sessions yesterday vehemently denied any collusion with Russian Federation to tilt last year's election in Mr Trump's favour, branding the suggestion an "appalling and detestable lie".

Rosenstein testified that he is the only one who has the authority to fire Mueller, who was appointed following the May 9 ousting of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and that he had seen no good cause to do so. He also said Trump had privately urged him to pull back on the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn - a claim that the president has denied. According to the report, Mueller's office later took up the probe.

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The special counsel declined to comment on the Post's report. Any such step would face a steep hurdle as it would require approval by the US House of Representatives, which is controlled by Mr Trump's fellow Republicans. The memos catalog several pivotal moments Comey allegedly had with Trump, including the president demanding "loyalty".