White House: Russia acting against "core democratic values"
Close Trump friend says president may fire Robert Mueller, special counsel on Russia investigationNewsmax CEO and a close friend of Trump said in an interview that the president was examining the possibility of ousting the special counsel appointed to lead the investigation into relations between Trump’s campaign and Russia. The White House responded: "Chris speaks for himself.”
US President Donald Trump is supposedly thinking about dismissing Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed by the Department of Justice to lead the Russia probe, according to Christopher Ruddy, a close friend of the president and Newsmax CEO.
"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. I think he's weighing that option," Ruddy told PBS NewsHour on Monday. "I think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently…I personally think it would be a very significant mistake.”
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Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to confirm the report and stated only that “Chris speaks for himself.” However, senior White House officials stressed that Ruddy did not meet with the president when he recently visited the White House.
If in fact the termination is carried out, it could spark another major political storm in the US and cast doubt on Trump's integrity. Robert Mueller was appointed to the post after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey for apparently refusing to show personal loyalty to him while at the same time pushing forward the Russian-ties investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, explained at the time that it was “in the public’s interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter.”
Last week Comey testified in Congress that he gave memos of his conversations with Trump to a friend in order to allow a special counsel to be appointed for the probe after his firing. Comey said he had no doubt that the Russians had intervened in the presidential elections but refused to reveal where the investigation was going.
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