The top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee says Congress would not sit still if President Donald Trump made a decision to fire the special counsel leading the investigation into Russian interference in the US election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.
Ruddy last spoke to the president last week but not about Mueller, he said.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who named Mueller to lead the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation, testified there was no reason to dismiss him, and said that he alone has the authority to do so.
Responding to comments Monday from Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media and a friend of Trump, Rosenstein told the Senate Appropriations Committee that if the president ordered him to fire the special counsel handling the Russian Federation investigation, he would comply only if the request were "lawful and appropriate".
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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich fanned the flames of the Mueller termination rumor in an interview Tuesday morning on CBS, saying that Trump called him Monday night and that he doesn't think the president will seek Mueller's dismissal.
When West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin asked Rosenstein if Mueller could be "terminated without cause", Rosenstein said "yes". "I think it's a threat to the Trump presidency".
His comments appeared to take the White House by surprise. Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel about a week later. He said those concerns included the interview for the Federal Bureau of Investigation post and connections between Mr Mueller's law firm and White House officials.
Mr Mueller is in the earliest stages of his investigation and still building up his team that will lead the probe. Ruddy is long-time friend of the President.
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House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday any talk about Trump wanting to rid himself of the special investigator amounts to "rumour". The person demanded anonymity to discuss strategy on the sensitive matter. Another apparent concern is that Mr. Mueller hired staff who donated money to Democrats in the past.
Even though it is reported that the president understands how risky firing Mueller will be, those close to him feel that Trump is "so volatile they can not be sure that he won't change his mind if he finds out anything to lead him to believe the investigation has been compromised".
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on Ruddy's remarks. Rosenstein has already said publicly that he sees no justification for firing Mueller, and that he wouldn't carry out an order from Trump to do so without "good cause". Ruddy had not met directly with the President while he was there.
The president is nonetheless angered by the investigation, which he has described as a "witch hunt", The New York Times reported.
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In his interview with "NewsHour", Ruddy said: "I personally think [seeking to remove Mueller] would be a very significant mistake, even though I don't think there's a justification for a special counsel in this case".