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Robert Mueller : Trump considering 'terminating' Russian Federation probe leader

17 June 2017

White House sources have told ABC News that the president is not seeking to fire Mueller, but a close confidante of Trump's said Mueller's ousting is under consideration.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he consults with a career ethics official when questions arise about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation investigation.

Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack praised Mueller and told reporters "there is a ripple effect" as stories continue to develop on the ongoing probe.

Trump ally Chris Ruddy has caused quite a stir over the past 24 hours.

But expressions of discontent with Mueller are bubbling up nonetheless. He added, "I think the best vindication for the president is to let this investigation to go on independently and thoroughly". Bernie Sanders condemned the man who he said had "apparently volunteered" on his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign.

LESTER HOLT: And while all of that was playing out today, the future of Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russian investigation has called into question.

"The president did this to himself", one Trump official told The Daily Beast.

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Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior declined to comment on the possibility of Trump seeking to remove Mueller.

Anxiety about the probe - and fresh concerns about the political leanings of some of the attorneys involved - is percolating in the West Wing of the White House.

In an interview with PBS Newshour, he said: "I think he is considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel".

Ruddy was at the White House on Monday, but he did not meet with the president, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

Still, it took until Tuesday night for the White House to actually dispute Ruddy's suspicion.

Most in Washington have struck a note of unity following the shooting attack at a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, VA in which five people were wounded including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Shaheen: "At this point, have you seen any evidence of good cause for the firing of special counsel (Robert) Mueller?".

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This five-alarm Monday evening conflagration, which came courtesy of Newsmax CEO and Trump pal Christopher Ruddy, served as the capstone to a growing campaign to cast doubt upon Mueller's competence and objectivity. The interview was first reported by PBS.

At a press briefing at the Capitol, Speaker Ryan said, "There is no debate that is going on here [about Mueller]".

Trump told NBC's Lester Holt in an interview on May 11 days after Comey was sacked that he fired him because "this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story".

"The chain of command for the special counsel is only directly to the attorney general - and in this case, the acting attorney general", he said. He, personally, does not think it would be a good idea for the president to fire Robert Mueller.

It was Mr Rosenstein who appointed Mr Mueller to the job in the first place, since he took carriage of the Russia investigation from the Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, who was forced to recuse himself because of his own contacts with Russian officials in the lead-up to last year's United States election. "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair", Mr. Gingrich tweeted.

But a long-time friend of Mr Trump said the president was considering sacking Mr Mueller.

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