President Donald Trump is considering terminating special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director who was named by the Justice Department in May to lead the Russia probe, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy told PBS NewsHour on Monday.
“I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. I think he’s weighing that option,” Ruddy told PBS NewsHour. “I think it’s pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently.”
In an interview with ABC News on Sunday, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said he didn’t want to speculate on whether or not the president would fire Mueller.
Letting Mueller go would “be a very significant mistake,” Ruddy continued.
PBS anchor Judy Woodruff first tweeted the news and earlier on Monday, CNBC had spotted Ruddy, a close confidant of Trump, leaving the West Wing. Ruddy, however, did not meet with the president that evening as their meeting was postponed, NBC News reported.
Later on Monday night, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement saying Ruddy never spoke to the president, adding that only the “president or his attorneys are authorized to comment.”
If Trump decided to act, Mueller’s termination would mark the latest in a series of tumultuous events that has shaken up American politics.
Former FBI director James Comey, who was conducting an inquiry into possible collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Moscow, said in testimony last week that the president had referred to the investigation as “a cloud” over his administration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is now due to testify on the matter before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.
PBS’ report sparked immediate debate on Twitter.
Should Mueller get fired, that would be a waste of time, according to Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Meanwhile, David Axelrod, director at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, warned of serious consequences.