U.S. President Donald Trump has "no intention" of firing special counsel Robert Mueller, the White House has said of the former FBI director who was hired by the Department of Justice last month to lead an independent investigation into Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election.
Prominent radio host Mark Levin wrote on Facebook that "Mueller must step aside", while commentator Ann Coulter said there was no point in keeping him after Mr Comey confirmed that Mr Trump was not under investigation.
Trump would have fired Comey for investigating the Trump-Russia issue, then dismissed Mueller for investigating the Trump-Russia issue.
Trump, according to The Times, has brought up the legal and political implications of firing Mueller, whom he thinks is "incapable of an impartial investigation".
Amid reports that US President Donald Trump was considering firing the special counsel overseeing the Russian Federation investigations, a senior Justice Department official said that he - and not the President - is the only official empowered to dismiss the prosecutor and that he sees no reason to do so.
However, Ruddy did note, "I personally think it would be a very significant mistake". "(Attorney General) Jeff Sessions is recused here, so it would be up to (Deputy Attorney General) Rod Rosenstein, who was the person who just appointed Bob Mueller a couple of weeks ago".
Perhaps Trump will fire Sessions and then pardon him, in order to appoint a new attorney general who would then fire Mueller at the president's command.
But while the president is deeply suspicious of Mr. Mueller, his anger is reserved for Mr. Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian Federation inquiry, and especially for Mr. Comey. When the attorney general refused, Nixon fired him - and when the deputy attorney general refused, Nixon fired him as well. "I think there's a conflict there". This is a matter of debate; others, such as law professor Steve Vladeck, have argued that it's unclear whether or not the president has this authority.
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.
Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle weighed in.
CNN cited a source close to Trump as saying the president was "being advised by many people" to not fire Mueller, who led the Federal Bureau of Investigation between 2001 and 2013.
McConnell told reporters Tuesday that "I have a lot of confidence in Bob Mueller".
"I don't think Newt said that", Graham said.
Ruddy had been at the White House the same day, though White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he did not meet with the president.
Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior declined to comment on the possibility of Trump seeking to remove Mueller.