"Senators, I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders", Rosenstein said. And they didn't agree to come and then cancel at the last minute and send their second in command in their stead, because the members of this committee may have questions they may not want to answer.
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Ruddy said the ethics behind Mueller's presence are concerning considering how he was appointed to be special counsel. If you thought the crowd numbers at the major anti-Trump rallies have been large, just wait and see what happens if Trump fires Mueller. "These investigations are important", Ryan said.
"While the president has the right to, he has no intention to do so", deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday when asked if Trump meant to fire Mueller.
"I don't think Newt said that", Graham told reporters.
Rosenstein's letter critical of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation served as the Trump White House's first reasoning for firing Comey - though Trump later undercut that explanation by saying he fired Comey in hopes of ending the Russian Federation probe.
Last week, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) "asked Rosenstein to provide a letter to Mueller that assure he will be fully independent as he leads the Justice Department's investigation into potential collusion between associates of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation". What is Trump so afraid of in the Russian Federation investigation? When asked about the interview by CNN, Ruddy said: "My quote is accurate".
The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director also testified that the agency had believed Sessions was "inevitably going to recuse" for reasons he could not elaborate on.
"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. With respect to this subject, only the president [or] his attorneys are authorized to comment". Ruddy fired back, "Don't waste time trying to undermine one of your few allies".
The talk about dismissing Mueller appeared to be coming from Trump allies - including some close to White House strategist Steve Bannon - who are increasingly frustrated with the prospect of a long and winding probe. Asked to respond, Spicer said he called "and asked him to clarify that his statement was not based on any meetings or conversations with the president".
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said via email, "Chris speaks for himself". Mueller has come under some criticism for his close relationship with Comey, and over the fact that he interviewed for the job of Federal Bureau of Investigation director after Trump fired Comey. But if he tries to sack the special counsel, he will be making a bet that the country is too weak and disoriented to stand together behind its constitutional structure of law - which, really, would be the saddest outcome of all.
But no. Trump's friends are now pressing the argument that Mueller must go, too.
"I never said I spoke to the President", he added. If there were good cause, I would consider it.