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White House: Trump 'has no intention' to fire Mueller

19 June 2017

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was asked about news reports suggesting Trump was mulling letting Mueller go, but said he has not seen evidence he has cause to fire Mueller.

"I think it is a consideration the President has had, because (Robert) Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel", Ruddy told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday.

Firing Mr Mueller would be politically explosive and would raise new questions about Mr Trump, whose dismissal of Mr James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation chief led to charges of obstruction of justice - and to Mr Mueller's appointment.

"I'm not going to follow any orders unless they are a lawful order", Rosenstein responded. Rosenstein is also the Department of Justice official who appointed Mueller as special counsel late last month.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein affirmed his support for Russian Federation special counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday, despite recent suggestions that President Trump was weighing Mueller's dismissal. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., if he's seen any reason for Mueller to be fired, Rosenstein said, "I have not".

Yesterday, a close confidant of Trump, Newsmax website chief executive Chris Ruddy, said following a White House visit that the president is considering firing Mueller. The White House has denied those claims.

In 1973, amid the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox. His spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, would later tell reporters the president "has no intention" to dismiss Mueller.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat, Virginia Sen. She said such a move would "destroy any shred of trust in the president's judgment that remains over here".

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But Ruddy said on PBS that Trump's weighing of whether to fire Mueller was "pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently".

The public testimony Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence committee should yield Sessions' most extensive comments to date on questions that have dogged his tenure as attorney general and that led him three months ago to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe. Mueller is a former FBI Director who unlike Trump understands how Washington, D.C works. Lindsey Graham told Politico on Monday night that firing Mueller 'would be a disaster'. The dismissal would come, he said due to reports of conflicts of interest involving Mueller and White House officials.

"The suggestion that I participated in any collusion, that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honour for over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie", the former senator told the committee.

Trump supporters like Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, have attacked Mueller and have called into question his credibility and independence.

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