Starting over the weekend, Trump surrogates began floating the idea that the president is thinking about ousting Robert Mueller, the widely respected special counsel who is investigating possible Trump campaign ties to Russian spies and hackers - and any related actions that might impact that investigation, such as alleged obstruction of justice by the president. "Time to rethink." Fellow conservative Ann Coulter joined the push, tweeting, "Now that we know TRUMP IS NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION, Sessions should take it back & fire Mueller". He too said Mueller should be left to conduct his investigation independently.
Asked about it on ABC this weekend, Jay Sekulow said that if there were a serious basis for it, the president would be allowed: "Whether he would do it is ultimately a decision the president makes".
The White House did not immediately respond to questions about Ruddy's claims.
Rosenstein's testimony was in less than flawless alignment with what White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Air Force One as she proceeded to undercut the deputy attorney general.
Asked what he would do if the president ordered him to fire Mueller, Rosenstein said, "I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders".
He added that he believes it would be a mistake to fire Mueller, but said the "the basis of his investigation is flim-flam". Comey testified that he believed the revelations in his memos - including concern that Trump sought to influence the FBI's Russian Federation investigation - would prompt the appointment of a special counsel.
Even if Trump did want to fire Mueller, it is far from clear that he would be able to do so - at least not very easily.
Trump does have the authority to remove the special counsel.
Rep. Adam Schiff, who is the ranking member on the House intelligence committee, said not long after the report was made public that, should Mueller be dismissed, Congress would appoint Mueller to lead an independent probe. "I think it is", Ruddy said.
"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.
PBS anchor Judy Woodruff first tweeted the news and earlier on Monday, CNBC had spotted Ruddy, a close confidant of Trump, leaving the West Wing.
Sessions will also be prepared to describe the process of filling out his SF-86 security clearance form in 2016 - specifically, the advice he received from Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel that he didn't need to include all of the meetings he had with foreign officials in his capacity as a sitting senator, the source said.
A writer on the legal blog Lawfare said the president could even argue that the counsel is impeding his constitutional power over foreign affairs. Gingrich, author of a new book called "Understanding Trump", added in an interview: "I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel". The option is still on the table, but Ruddy's move takes away the president's element of surprise. Look who he is hiring.check fec reports.
Top Justice Department officials testified on June 13 that it's actually up to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who originally appointed Mueller to his post, to decide whether he should go, though the president could bypass that protocol. "If there were not good cause, it would not matter to me what anybody said", he said. A spokesman for Kasowitz declined to comment.