White House denies Trump wants Mueller out, but heat's on

Trump ally and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has had a change of heart about the special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation, Robert Mueller, whose naming he had previously endorsed.

Trump friend Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, went so far as to suggest the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mueller from his position as special counsel. "I know Bob Mueller, and I have confidence in Bob Mueller", Ryan said.

Well, it appears that Ruddy was right all along - he pointed out after the fact that the White House never denied the claim - as the New York Times is now reporting that the president has indeed entertained the idea. "(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".

Those calls have escalated since fired FBI Director Comey cryptically told lawmakers last week that the bureau had expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he did from the investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

Journalist Paul Vale, who has written for the Huffington Post and The Times of London, tweeted, "Boiled cabbage Gingrich lays out the White House plan to discredit career lawman Mueller - all in the service of his babbling paymaster".

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That conversation occurred Monday night, said Gingrich.

If you thought that the James Comey firing or the preceding efforts by President Trump to encourage Comey to drop his investigation into Michael Flynn were considered obstruction of justice, then you will certainly think that this tidbit of gossip would be considered obstruction as well.

Ruddy added, "I think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television".

Rosenstein repeatedly conveyed his support for Mueller's role at a Senate hearing, held the morning after a close friend of President Donald Trump was quoted in a television interview as saying he was considering dismissing Mueller. "Why do we need a special counsel now?"

The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, has said that if Trump were to get Mueller fired, Congress would re-establish the independent counsel unit and name Mueller to head it. Ruddy's remarks came on the heels of Trump loyalists growing louder with their calls that Mueller should be removed from heading up the Russian Federation probe. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, whether he has seen good cause to fire Mueller. Bernie Sanders condemned the man who he said had "apparently volunteered" on his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign.

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Sessions, a close campaign adviser to Trump and the first senator to endorse him, stepped aside from the investigation in early March after acknowledging he had spoken twice in the months before the election with the Russian ambassador.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on the issues Gingrich and others have raised.

There's had been little indication from Republicans that they would take Mueller's dismissal so seriously ― until today.

It would be hard to make the case, he said, that the experience of interviewing for Federal Bureau of Investigation director would make it impossible for Mueller to fairly exercise the broad discretion afforded to prosecutors.

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