Trump's Friend Says the President Might Fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Rumors that President Donald Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller began to circulate when a friend of Trump, Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, said during an interview with PBS NewsHour, “I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. I think he's weighing that option.” When Ruddy discussed the topic with CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday, Ruddy added, “Chris, remember there is no evidence of wrongdoing, there's no evidence of collusion, there's no evidence of obstruction,” CNN reports.

According to NBC News, Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department’s Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate the Trump campaign’s involvement with Russia.

After the rumor quickly spread, Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, took to Twitter, writing, “If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller. Don't waste our time."

Rep. Schiff later told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “You have to hope that common sense would prevail," Schiff said. "But it wouldn't surprise me at all, even though it would be absolutely astonishing were [Trump] to entertain this. The echoes of Watergate are getting louder and louder.”

Trump could follow the example of former President Richard Nixon, who fired the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal in 1973. And we know how that turned out for Nixon—he eventually had to resign.

When Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was asked about Trump’s consideration of firing Mueller, Ryan said that he would be "surprised" if Trump fired him, CNN reports. “I think he should let Bob Mueller do his job, do his job independently, and do his job quickly, because I think that that's what he would want to have happen,” Ryan said on the conservative radio program “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, in regards to the rumors, said, “Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the President regarding this issue. With respect to this subject, only the President or his attorneys are authorized to comment,” CNN reports.

Ruddy disputed Spicer’s comments Tuesday in a comment to CNN, “Spicer issued a bizarre late night press release that a) doesn't deny my claim the President is considering firing Mueller and b) says I didn't speak to the President about the matter — when I never claimed to have done so. Memo to Sean: focus your efforts on exposing the flim-flam Russian allegations against [the president] and highlighting his remarkable achievements! Don't waste time trying to undermine one of your few allies.”

Considering that Trump’s behavior is usually unpredictable, these rumors may end up not turning out to be true. Either way, as NBC News reports, it’s worth noting that only the attorney general—Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—can actually fire Mueller. And right now, Rosenstein says that Mueller will have full independence to conduct his investigation.