Trump Considering Firing Mueller, White House Doesn’t Deny Claim
President Donald Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said Monday.
“I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel,” Ruddy told Judy Woodruff of the “PBS NewsHour.” “I think he’s weighing that option. I think it’s pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently.”
Ruddy, who did not claim to have spoken to the president about the matter, appeared to confirm comments made by Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow.
Appearing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Sekulow said that while the idea has not been brought up in the White House, Trump had not ruled out firing Mueller, who is looking into possible Russian collusion with Trump officials.
Ruddy also questioned the legitimacy of appointing a special prosecutor, noting that no evidence of a crime or even an allegation of wrongdoing has been made against the president or White House staff.
On Monday night, White House press secretary Sean Spicer issued a press release offering no denial that the president was contemplating terminating the special counsel. Spicer’s statement said the president had not spoken to Ruddy on the matter, though Ruddy never had made such a claim.
“My position is that Mueller is a man of integrity,” Ruddy said. “But we all know in the history of these special investigations they go far and wide, and they go well beyond what the original jurisdiction was.”
Ruddy called the appointed of Mueller “a very highly unusual situation” and “politically driven,” considering that no allegation of wrongdoing against Trump or any member of his staff has been alleged.
“That’s getting the president and a lot of his top aides concerned that there is an effort here to undermine his agenda in Washington by people who want to focus on these investigations,” Ruddy said.
Mueller faces conflicts, he said, noting that Mueller actually met with Trump just days before his appointment as special counsel. Trump was considering hiring Mueller to replace fired FBI Director James Comey.
“I think it would be strange that he would have a confidential conversation and then, a few days later, become the prosecutor of the person he may be investigating,” Ruddy said. “I think Mueller should not have taken the position if he had a private meeting with the president and was privy maybe to some of his thoughts about that investigation or other matters before the bureau.”
Ruddy also noted that Mueller’s law firm has represented members of the Trump family, another apparent conflict.
Despite serious objections to Mueller, Ruddy told PBS that it would be a “mistake” for the president to fire him at this point.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted in response that it would be useless for Trump to fire Mueller since Congress would simply re-establish the independent counsel law and name Mueller to the position.
If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller. Don't waste our time.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 12, 2017
CNN reported that Trump is being advised by top staff not to fire Mueller.
Source close to Trump says the president "is being advised by many people" NOT to fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 12, 2017