In a major story, The New York Times claimed that Trump was angered by reports that Mueller was close to fired FBI Director James Comey and entertained the idea of firing the special counsel. Rosenstein would be the one to fire Mueller, which he repeatedly assured senators Tuesday he would not consider without "good cause". Rosenstein responded: "No I have not".
Rosenstein says the attorney general would be the only one who could fire Mueller.
Sessions previously recused himself from any involvement in the Russian Federation investigation due to his role as a prominent campaign adviser and surrogate.
The speaker also spoke of his confidence in Mueller despite some criticism from other within his party. Then on Monday, Trump's friend Christopher Ruddy, a right-wing media executive, told "PBS NewsHour": "I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel".
Firing Mueller would be a politically explosive move that would raise new questions about Trump, whose dismissal of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director generated accusations of obstruction of justice and led to Mueller's appointment. "I think firing Mueller could trigger an impeachment process". "I just told you what I knew". Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, the responsibility would fall to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who Trump could order to fire Mueller.
Still, top Democrats on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee fumed that Sessions had abruptly canceled his appearance there, with Sen.
Trump's friend Christopher Ruddy says President 'considering' firing Mueller
When West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin asked Rosenstein if Mueller could be "terminated without cause", Rosenstein said "yes". He added in a separate interview with CNN that President Trump believes "Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel".
Both Rosenstein and Sessions are testifying Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Leahy told Rosenstein "you are not the witness who should be behind this table".
Leahy says he wants to know why Sessions "has provided false testimony" about those contacts.
After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the FBI investigations into Russia's attempts to interfere with the 2016 election, and any signs of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
"It makes sense to point out any level of bias, to highlight any biases inherent in Mueller and this probe in order to force him to be transparent", Gingrich said. "This process has to play out because of what he did with [fired FBI director James] Comey and also calling for the investigation to end".
This is the central problem with Trump's increasingly embattled presidency: He broke all the political rules and disregarded his advisers' exhortations, and he still won the presidency.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump's outside attorney Marc Kasowitz, said in a statement to CNN: "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".