Deputy AG Rosenstein set for budget hearings Tuesday

Still, Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax and a Trump friend, suggested the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mueller from his position as special counsel.

"I think he's considering, perhaps terminating the special counsel", Ruddy said on PBS NewsHour. "Look who he is hiring", tweeted former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal Trump adviser. He lashed out at a top Justice Department official overseeing the inquiry, reflecting his mounting frustration with the unrelenting controversy that has consumed his early presidency.

Trump allies in the conservative press have increasingly argued in recent days that the president should fire special counsel Robert Mueller - and on Monday night, a friend of Trump's said on television that he'd heard (through aides) that the president was considering doing just that.

Both Fleischer and Gingrich had previously vouched for the character and integrity of Mueller, who was appointed Federal Bureau of Investigation director by Bush and whose term was extended an extra two years by Democratic President Barack Obama.

The public testimony Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence committee should yield Sessions' most extensive comments to date on questions that have dogged his tenure as attorney general and that led him three months ago to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe.

Asked about Trump's own contention that the president fired Comey with the Russian Federation probe in mind, and regardless of any recommendation from anyone else, Sessions said: "I guess I'll just have to let his words speak for themselves". It was unclear whether his tweet about being under investigation was based on direct knowledge or new media reports that suggest Mueller is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey.

Finally, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) got right to it and asked the question on everyone's mind - if Trump ordered Rosenstein to fire Mueller, what would he do? The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

But Ruddy outlined what seems to be growing talk from Trump circles raising concerns about Mueller.

'Witch Hunt': Trump confirms he is being investigated over Comey firing
The president complained the probe is unfair and wondered why his defeated Democratic opponent was not getting the same scrutiny . He had likened the appointment of the special counsel with the "single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history".

So are we to understand that to the extent that there may be a counter-intelligence investigation not related to campaigns for president of the United States or even a criminal investigation that could be obstruction of justice or a violation of another statute. I mean, Marc Kasowitz is lead lawyer on this place and is in charge of the legal team has said clearly that he is putting forward a legal team and a legal defense that will address all of the issues.

The White House has directed questions for details to outside legal counsel, which has not responded.

Ruddy was at the White House on Monday but did not meet with the president, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. "But the president is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside", Mr Sekulow said.

In 1973, amid the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "Chris speaks for himself".

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

As Jeff Sessions is set to testify in the ongoing Russian Federation investigation Tuesday, this much is clear: while Mueller and his team expand their probe and edge, ever-closer, to Trump, they will continue to field an onslaught not just from the president, but from his band of supporters.

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