Trump supporters turn on special counsel Mueller

Former FBI director Robert Mueller

Getty Images Former FBI director Robert Mueller

United States President Donald Trump is reportedly considering sacking Robert Mueller - the special independent counsel appointed to investigate allegations of Russian meddling in last year's U.S. election - according to a friend and close confidant to the President.

"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", Christopher Ruddy - who was at the White House Monday - told PBS' Judy Woodruff on "PBS NewsHour".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he consults with a career ethics official when questions arise about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation investigation.

Schiff later told CNN's Anderson Cooper he wouldn't be surprised if Trump was considering ousting Mueller.

"Time to rethink", he tweeted Monday, citing Mueller's hiring decisions and Comey's admission that he'd instructed a friend to share with reporters notes he'd taken of his private conversations with Trump in order to force the appointment of special counsel.

Mueller "apparently couldn't find a single pro-Trump attorney to hire, and I just think that's a rigged game, and I think that it's a mistake to pretend this is going to be some neutral investigation", he told CBS.

Gingrich said that he "began to change" his opinion when former FBI Director James Comey made an "arrogant statement" last week during his testimony that he "felt he had the right to leak" information "specifically in order to get a special counsel".

"Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive", Sekulow said. "As long as I'm in this position, he's not going to be fired without cause", he added.

The appearances, however, are likely to be overshadowed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' public appearance at a Senate intelligence committee hearing.

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"We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic", Comey said.

Ruddy said the ethics behind Mueller's presence are concerning considering how he was appointed to be special counsel.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Ruddy never spoke to Trump about the issue of firing Mueller. "I think he's weighing that option".

A person close to Trump's legal team said earlier Tuesday that there have been no discussions about firing Mueller with the legal team. But his comment left open the possibility that the investigation does cover the chain of events that led to Trump firing Comey. "Chris Ruddy speaks for himself", Spicer said.

The Code of Federal Regulations stipulates that the attorney general alone has the authority to appoint or to remove a special counsel.

'But I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise, ' the attorney added.

After initially being praised by Republicans and Democrats for his integrity, in recent days Mueller's impartiality as special counsel has been questioned by some Trump supporters.

Another talk-radio Trump booster, Laura Ingraham, who was rumoured to have been considered for a White House position, directed her followers to a story in a conservative newspaper that suggests Mueller might be tainted.

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Sekulow said that while the idea has not been brought up in the White House, Trump had not ruled out firing Mueller, who is looking into possible Russian collusion with Trump officials.

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