It has been confirmed by a senior administration official at the White House that President Donald Trump personally interviewed Robert Mueller for the position of FBI director, according to The Daily Caller.
Although the interview did not lead to Mueller’s appointment as FBI director, on May 17 he was appointed by the Department of Justice to serve as special counsel for the investigation into allegations of Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
According to the report, the official did not specify when the president interviewed Mueller. However, on Monday, Newsmax Media CEO Chris Ruddy intimated the president interviewed Mueller days before he was appointed to be special counsel. “The president did talk with him in the days before he was named special counsel,” Ruddy said. “I think there’s a conflict there.”
Ruddy went on to say he thought Trump was thinking about dismissing Mueller as special counsel.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer dismissed Ruddy’s claim, saying, “Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the President regarding this issue.” Spicer said that Ruddy had no authorization to comment on the matter. “With respect to this subject, only the President or his attorneys are authorized to comment,” he concluded.
Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Spicers statement, reportedly saying, “Chris speaks for himself.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also denied he had any knowledge of a plan to fire Mueller during his testimony at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday. “I appointed him. I stand by that decision, and I am going to defend the integrity of that investigation,” Rosenstein said.
In addition to Mueller, the president interviewed many other candidates for the position of FBI director, including acting director Andrew McCabe, former FBI official Richard McFeely, former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, and John Pistole. Last week, President Trump nominated Christopher Wray for the position, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions reportedly approved of his selection.
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