White House: Trump won't sack special counsel Robert Mueller

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Ruddy appeared to be basing his remarks, at least in part, on comments from Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump's legal team, who told ABC in an interview Sunday that he was "not going to speculate" on whether Trump might at some point order Rosenstein to fire Mueller.

The CNN report, which cited Federal Election Commission records, said that $56,000 had been donated to Democratic candidates by three of the five attorneys known to be hired by Mueller to handle the Russian election interference investigation.

White House staffers made a concerted effort to talk Trump down from ordering that Mueller be fired, the paper said. Then, on Monday evening, Newsmax CEO and Trump pal Chris Ruddy said that the president was "considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", which, Ruddy added, "would be a very significant mistake".

Now we know why Trump wanted to fire the special counsel.

Sessions' testimony did not provide any damaging new information on Trump campaign ties with Russian Federation or on Comey's dismissal, but his refusal to discuss conversations with Trump raised fresh questions about whether the White House has something to hide.

Rosenstein is charged with Mueller's fate because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters having to do with the Trump-Russia investigation.

Unlike the President's successful TV program, where ratings seemed to rise each time he fired someone, his already lackluster poll numbers might plummet if he terminates Mueller before the special counsel has completed his investigation. As the White House aides scrambling to calm the president surely understand, even Trump could not survive such a seismic and egocentric abuse of power. "I think he's- he's weighing that option".

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Mueller had earned the respect by both Democrats and Republicans during his 12-year leadership as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, serving both the Bush and Obama presidencies from 2001-2013.

"I am not stonewalling", Sessions replied, saying he was simply following Justice Department policy not to discuss confidential communications with the president.

I did not talk to the President about the issue. "On CBS This Morning former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had initially said he was a fan of Mueller, accused him of picking politically biased investigators", she reported, as though his statement somehow belonged to Trump. Just ask former FBI Director James Comey.

The obstruction of justice investigation into the president began days after Comey was sacked on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter.

Officials said one of the exchanges of potential interest to Mueller took place on March 22, less than a week after Coats was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the nation's top intelligence official. The reason he gave is that it could be "within the scope of Director Mueller's investigation" and that "we don't want people talking publicly about open investigations", he said.

"I don't think Trump should do anything but the congressional Republicans ought to look into it", Gingrich said.

Coats was attending a briefing at the White House together with officials from several other government agencies. According to someone who spoke to Trump, "The president was pleased by the ambiguity of his position on Mr. Mueller, and thinks the possibility of being fired will focus the veteran prosecutor on delivering what the president desires most: a blanket public exoneration". He also interviewed Mueller for the role of Federal Bureau of Investigation director before he was appointed special counsel.

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