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White House torn over Mueller's role as pressure grows

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. He added that no such reason now exists.

On Monday, speculation was stoked that Trump was considering terminating Mueller, after a confidante of the president suggested it was under consideration.

"I will not reveal who my sources are, but I felt confidence in saying it and it was consistent in what the president's own attorney said", Ruddy said in a Tuesday interview on MSNBC.

The New York Times reported, "That may have been by design, according to a person who spoke to Mr. Trump on Tuesday". "I think there's a conflict there".

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any Russia-related investigations, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would then have the authority to remove Mueller.

"As long as I'm in this position, he's not going to be fired without good cause", Rosenstein said.

"If there were not good cause, it would not matter to me what anybody said", he said. If Rosenstein refused, Trump could fire him and continue down the line until a DOJ official acquiesced.

Rosenstein assured Feinstein the firing of Mueller would not occur without his assent.

"I appointed him. I stand by it. and I am going to defend the integrity of that investigation", he said.

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The Twitter attacks came as vice president Mike Pence hired a personal lawyer to represent him in the intensifying investigation. The investigation, the president added is being led by "very bad and conflicted people".

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According to the BBC , the reports come from radio chatter intercepted from jihadis suggesting that the Maute brothers are dead. The total loss for government forces is now at 58, with the ISIS-linked militants' losses being estimated at 138.

Rosenstein's testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee occurred just hours before Sessions was to testify in a public hearing before another Senate panel about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and his involvement in the firing of another Federal Bureau of Investigation chief, James Comey.

Investigations are now under way into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Those in the White House have expressed concern that the probe could detract from the president's agenda for months or years to come.

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.

Comey also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had "additional facts" about Sessions that he could "not discuss in an open setting".

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan urged the White House to let Mueller's investigation play out.

"When he tells you to do something, guess what, there's no ambiguity in it", Trump Jr., speaking of his father, told Fox News on Sunday. During the Watergate investigation President Richard Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was investigating a campaign of political spying and sabotage launched by a Nixon re-election committee.

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". I'll say very positive things when they're warranted. Firing him would breathe new life into accusations that Trump was trying to interfere in the probe.



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