Donald Trump has no intention of firing Robert Mueller: White House

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"No, I have not", Rosenstein answered.

Comey himself said when he testified before the Senate last week that he was "sure" that Mueller's investigation would look into a potential obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump. He said there is no cause to consider removal, and that that the Attorney General's office alone would make that decision with the special counsel.

Former FBI Director James Comey raised additional questions at a hearing on Thursday, saying that the FBI expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he actually did.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Tuesday night to reporters that Mr. Trump interviewed Mueller "I believe the day before he was made special counsel". Mr Gingrich said he is troubled by Democratic donations of Mr Mueller's picks to help lead the probe.

Rosenstein is the only person who can fire Mueller under current Justice Department regulations - though those regulations could theoretically be set aside.

"More often than not, the committee conducts its work behind closed doors, a necessary step to ensure that our most sensitive sources and methods are protected", Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said Tuesday at the start of the Sessiona hearing.

Mr Sessions vigorously denied having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the US. Gen. Jeff Sessions' testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In his interview, Ruddy said Trump had interviewed Mueller for the position of Federal Bureau of Investigation director several days before Rosenstein appointed him special counsel.

Chris Ruddy, an ABC News contributor and a longtime friend of Trump and the CEO of the conservative media company Newsmax, first told PBS in an interview Monday that the president is "considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel, he's weighing that option". "If there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me no matter what anybody says", explained Rosenstein.

The NYT noted that Trump has become increasingly angry over the thought that Mueller is part of a partisan "witch hunt" against him when it comes to the Russian collusion story. This was after a February meeting in which Comey said Trump told Sessions and others to leave the room before asking him to drop a probe into National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that while he feels "independent counsels are very risky", he doesn't think Trump should force Mueller out.

Trump's best play would be to allow Mueller to do his job without interference, and - if Trump is telling the truth - declare the issue is dead for lack of substance.

Comey said Trump told him he hoped Comey would "let go" of his investigation of the president's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and also asked Comey to pledge his personal loyalty and to "lift the cloud" of the Russian Federation probe. Mark Warner (D-VA) if he would try to have Mueller removed from the investigation, Sessions said, "I wouldn't think that would be appropriate".

The White House downplayed Ruddy's comments.

Moody "never spoke to the president regarding this issue", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement that was found to have taken a long time coming and said little.