Reports say Mueller probe now examining possible obstruction

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20 June, 2017

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the interviews represent a widening of the probe to include a query into whether the President obstructed justice in suggesting to his former FBI Director James Comey that he drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, as well as for firing of Comey.

"I think it is a consideration the President has had because Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel", Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax Media, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday. "(Attorney General) Jeff Sessions is recused here, so it would be up to (Deputy Attorney General) Rod Rosenstein, who was the person who just appointed Bob Mueller a couple of weeks ago".

The suggestion was swiftly rebutted by Press Secretary Sean Spicer who insisted in a statement last night that Ruddy didn't speak for the president on the issue - though he pointedly declined to say Mueller was safe.

A senior White House official confirmed that the president interviewed Mueller for the FBI post in the Oval Office the day before he was tapped by the deputy attorney general to serve as the special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation. It's unclear whether the president could override those rules and order Rosenstein to fire Mueller.

The president previously said that fired FBI Director James Comey assured him in private conversation that he was not under investigation.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter offered a similar message, tweeting, "Now that we know TRUMP IS NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION, Sessions should take it back & fire Mueller".

"Chris speaks for himself", a senior administration official told the Daily Caller in an email. Any such step would face a steep hurdle as it would require approval by the U.S. House of Representatives, which is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans.

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"I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate", Rogers said.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spoke critically of special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, calling special counsels "very risky". "Look who is hiring".

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, scoffed at the idea that the president might fire Mueller.

"There's some real conflicts", Ruddy said. "Don't waste our time".

"We're not going to let the President choose who conducts this investigation", he said.

"If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller", Schiff said in a tweet.


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