White House torn over Mueller's role as pressure grows

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President Donald Trump interviewed Robert Mueller as a potential replacement for fired FBI Director James Comey the day before the former FBI director was named special counsel, a White House official said Tuesday.

Newsmax founder Chris Ruddy's decision to say that President Trump is weighing firing special counsel Robert Mueller harmed Trump's ability to fire him, a Trump confidant told The Daily Caller. 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. The FBI's "Prepublication Review Guide" does raise some questions about Comey's actions, but not Mueller's.

He said that, since his recusal, he had never been given information or details about the Russian Federation investigation. Sessions has recused himself from the Russian probe, a move that gave Rosenstein the authority to appoint a special counsel. It's unclear whether the president could override those rules and order Rosenstein to fire Mueller. "Why do we need a special counsel now?"

"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", Christopher Ruddy said during an appearance on PBS's "NewsHour".

As expected, Mr Sessions also addressed a claim by former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey during his testimony to the committee last week that he had expressed his concern about a meeting with Donald Trump on February 14th to the attorney general but that Mr Sessions had not replied.

Spicer did not outright discount the notion of removing the special counsel, but he noted Ruddy was not a spokesman for Trump.

Though some in the White House have preached caution, fearing a repeat of the firestorm over Comey's firing, many in Trump's orbit - including his son Donald Trump Jr. and adviser Newt Gingrich - have deemed Mueller biased and worthy of dismissal. Even though it is reported that the president understands how risky firing Mueller will be, those close to him feel that Trump is "so volatile they can not be sure that he won't change his mind if he finds out anything to lead him to believe the investigation has been compromised". I don't think so.

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Created almost 20 years ago by Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno, the special counsel was "the right answer", Starr said, because it while is within the executive branch of government, the role is "assured of practical independence through binding regulations".

"The president is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside", he said. "I personally think it would be a significant mistake, even though I don't think there is a justification [for a special counsel]".

Firing Mueller might tilt the race for control of the House to the Democrats.

Trump took his Comey attacks to Twitter starting Friday - "Yes, Trump says Comey's a 'coward.' 'You want to attack somebody, do it like a man: tweet from the toilet" - and by the end of the weekend, the entire Trump circle was on the Comey-belittlement train. "If there were not good cause, it would not matter to me what anybody said", he said.

The speaker listed the policy issues that congressional Republicans were focused on like a bill on the House floor this week to improve accountability for veterans' health care, telling reporters, "We are focused on solving people's problems".

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on Ruddy's remarks.

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