Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Trump interviewed Mueller for FBI job day before he was tapped f

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he sees no reason why special counsel Robert Mueller should stop leading the probe into Russian interference in last year's USA election.

The night before Tuesday's senate intelligence committee hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the sudden question of whether President Donald Trump might fire Federal Bureau of Investigation special counsel Robert Mueller prompted alarm from Democrats and notes of caution from Republicans.

Rosenstein said "no, I have not", when asked by Shaheen whether he has seen good cause to fire Mueller.

He said he has found no good cause to fire Mueller.

"The President did talk with him in the days before he was named special counsel", Ruddy told PBS on Monday in the same interview where he said Trump was "considering terminating" Mueller as special counsel. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is set to testify before the Senate intelligence committee today, has recused himself from the investigation.

"Time to rethink", he tweeted on Monday, citing Mr Mueller's hiring decisions and Mr Comey's admission that he instructed a friend to share with reporters notes he had taken of his private conversations with Mr Trump in order to force the appointment of special counsel.

Ruddy said on PBS NewsHour he thought Trump considering terminating the special counsel was, "pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently".

Amid reports that President Trump is considering firing the special counsel overseeing the Russian Federation investigations, a senior Justice Department official said Tuesday that he - and not the president - is the only official empowered to dismiss the prosecutor and that he sees no reason to do so.

The White House downplayed Ruddy's comments. Brian Schatz, describing Sessions' recusal beyond a broad statement that he would not be involved in matters arising from the 2016 election, according to reports.

"But I think it would be unusual that he would have a confidential conversation and then a few days later become prosecutor of the person he would be investigating", he added. Rosenstein said that while it depends on the circumstances, "I think the general answer is no".

Mr Schiff told news channel MSNBC's Morning Joe programme on Tuesday that "I don't think the Congress would sit still and allow the president to pick his own investigator".

In 1973, amid the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

And CNN reports "Newt Gingrich reportedly told radio host John Catsimatidis that Congress should 'abolish the independent counsel'".

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