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Rosenstein Says He Wouldn't Fire Special Counsel Without Good Cause

A close personal friend of Donald Trump on Monday raised the politically explosive possibility that the president could take action to fire Robert Mueller, the recently appointed special counsel tasked with looking into Russian meddling in last year's election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.

"I think he is considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", Ruddy, who leads the conservative news website Newsmax, said on PBS NewsHour.

"I know what we're investigating and he does not", Rosenstein said to Sen.

"The people in the administration were quick to reach out to me and say Chris Ruddy doesn't speak for this administration", Scarborough said.

"He's recused from Department of Justice investigations, and we don't talk about the subject matter of investigations while they're ongoing" - an argument that several Justice Department and FBI officials have invoked throughout the probe.

And a person familiar with Trump's thinking said Tuesday morning that it's "unlikely" the President will fire Mueller, but conceded that it's often hard to predict Trump's behavior.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said via email, "Chris speaks for himself".

Ruddy also stated that Trump would be within his right to fire Mueller since there are certain conflicts of interest that exist regarding the past relationship shared by the president and the special counsel.

President Trump and Robert Muller.

Since being appointed special counsel in May, he has built a team of formidable legal minds who've worked on everything from Watergate to Enron.

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.

They say Mr Trump did not collude with Russian Federation and see the investigation as a politically-motivated sham that handicaps his ability to execute his agenda, according to one person who advises the White House on how to handle the probe.

"If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller", the California lawmaker tweeted.

He added, "I'm not going to follow any order unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders". She asked whether Scarborough's sources flatly denied Ruddy's claim, but her co-host said he trusted his sources.

Trump would seemingly have to order Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to rescind department regulations protecting a special counsel from being fired for no good reason, and then to fire Mr. Mueller.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on the issues Gingrich and others have raised. Rosenstein said he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation. He added, "Don't waste time trying to undermine one of your few allies".

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