“I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel,” Ruddy said on PBS’ NewsHour, after visiting the White House on Monday. “I think he’s weighing that option.” Ruddy paid lip service to that being a “significant mistake,” but followed immediately saying there is no justification for the special counsel.
Then Ruddy spread out, like a banquet, what will be Trump’s argument for sacking Mueller, the former FBI director under Barack Obama and George W. Bush. He has “some real conflicts,” Ruddy said.
Specifically, Mueller “comes from a law firm that represents members of the Trump family.”
Ruddy also claimed that Mueller interviewed with Trump as POTUS was interviewing possible FBI director candidates, just a few days before being named special counsel by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “That hasn’t been published, but it’s true,” Ruddy insisted, without citing his source.
“I think it would be strange [Mueller] would have a confidential conversation and then, a few days later, become the prosecutor of the person he may be investigating,” Ruddy said.
“Mueller should not have taken the position, if he was under consideration and had a private meeting with the President, and was privy maybe to some of [Trump’s] thoughts about the investigation or other matters before the bureau.”
“Mueller” trended worldwide on Twitter late Monday afternoon, after Ruddy laid out Trump’s thinking on PBS:
Word Trump was mulling whether to get rid of Mueller, and this trial balloon argument for doing so unveiled on PBS, come three days after Trump boasted in the White House Rose Garden he would be happy to testify under oath that he had not told FBI director James Comey he expected loyalty from him, and had not pressed Comey to end the FBI’s investigation of former National Security adviser Michael Flynn, before he sacked Comey.
Comey had asserted both claims, when testifying under oath Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the 2016 political election and possible Trump team collusion.
Trump would have to get Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do the sacking; it’s unclear whether Sessions would agree, given that he had recused himself with regard to all things Russia probe. If Sessions did recuse himself, it would fall to Rosenstein to fire the guy who he’d appointed weeks earlier.
On May 17, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein named Mueller to oversee the Russia probe and possible connection between Trump campaign associates and Russia. The move came on the heels of word that Trump had asked Comey in February to jettison the bureau’s investigation into Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“Considering the unique circumstances of this matter, I have determined that a special counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome,” Rosenstein said in a statement back then. “Our nation is grounded on the rule of law and the public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly.” He did not notify White House or Attorney General in advance of his move.
Check out the interview above.