The only man who can fire special counsel Robert Mueller, the man charged with investigating Russian interference in the US election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign, says he sees no good cause to do so.
Trump also had other issues on his mind on Tuesday as reflected in his tweets, the Russian Federation probe among them, as he sought to deflect attention towards Hillary Clinton and the investigation into her use of a private email server that came up during fired FBI director James Comey's testimony last week.
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".
The talk about dismissing Mueller appeared to be coming from Trump allies - including some close to White House strategist Steve Bannon - who are increasingly frustrated with the prospect of a long and winding probe.
According to the report, Trump has told staff, visitors and advisers over the last week that he thought Mueller was part of a "witch hunt" against him. South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, who is unafraid to tangle with Trump, said firing Mueller would be "a disaster, " since the special counsel had done nothing to be fired.
But Ruddy opened a new line of questions about Mueller's impartiality - the fact that Trump had considered Mueller for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's job before he was named special counsel.
Ruddy was at the White House Monday to meet with White House aides, but did not speak with the president, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. "Mr".
The special counsel is examining Trump's possible obstruction of justice
After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey , Trump said that Comey had told him three times that he was not under investigation . Marc Kasowitz, Trump's personal lawyer, said Comey's testimony vindicated that Trump wasn't under investigation by the FBI.
Trump has the power to unilaterally remove Mueller from the job, but legal experts argue that would create a crisis in American institutions. Senators on Tuesday questioned both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on how the inquiry is being handled.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Tuesday that he had confidence in Mueller and called reports that Trump might fire Mueller "rumors".
The remarks from Ruddy, the CEO of the conservative Newsmax outlet, added intrigue to Sessions's testimony Tuesday afternoon before the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he refused to discuss his conversations with Trump.
Ruddy, who is a friend of the president's, said on PBS Monday, "I think [Trump is] considering perhaps terminating the special counsel..." The Times report said that Trump considered firing Mueller, something TheDC's source confirmed. Rosenstein said Tuesday that Mueller has his full backing to conduct an independent investigation.
Rosenstein offered his assurances as USA news accounts quoted Republican allies of Trump suggesting that the president is considering firing Mueller, whose appointment last month drew widespread praise from both Republicans and opposition Democrats.
"I think we should let Bob Mueller do his work and get to the bottom of it, and get to the bottom of it quickly so that he can be vindicated, get to these things". "The best advice would be to let Robert Mueller do his job", he told reporters.