JUST IN: Deputy AG clarifies reports of plan to fire Mueller

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Despite a claim Monday by Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy that President Trump was considering terminating special counsel Robert Mueller as overseer of the Russia investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein denied having anything to do with such a plan.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller to oversee the investigation into the allegations of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign and election period.

Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, and a friend to President Trump, alleged Monday night in a PBS interview that Trump was seriously considering firing Mueller.

Ruddy again stated to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” Tuesday, “I think it is a consideration the President has had because Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel,” although he did add that he believes such an action would be a mistake.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer shot it down, saying, “Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the President regarding this issue. With respect to this subject, only the President or his attorneys are authorized to comment.”

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reportedly added, “Chris speaks for himself.”

Rosenstein, who has the authority himself to remove Mueller, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday there was no need to dismiss Mueller. “Director Mueller is going to have the full independence he needs to conduct that investigation,” he said, when asked about the “secret plan” announced by Ruddy to remove the special counsel.

“There is no secret plan that involves me, no Senator,” Rosenstein said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Rosenstein, “Do you know of any reason for case to fire Robert Mueller?”  “No, I do not,” Rosenstein responded.

Rosenstein further added, “I appointed him. I stand by that decision, and I am going to defend the integrity of that investigation.”

 

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