Politics

Friend says Trump is considering 'terminating' special counsel Mueller

File: Former FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee during the annual open hearing on worldwide threats on March 12, 2013. Mueller has been named special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.
File: Former FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee during the annual open hearing on worldwide threats on March 12, 2013. Mueller has been named special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Susan Walsh/AP

A friend of the president says Donald Trump is considering "terminating" special counsel Robert Mueller.

Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy tells Judy Woodruff of "PBS NewsHour": "I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. I think he's weighing that option."

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about Ruddy's claims.

Under current Justice Department regulations, such a firing would have to be done by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' deputy, Rod Rosenstein, not the president— though those regulations could theoretically be set aside.

Mueller is leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and potential ties between Moscow and Trump's presidential campaign. Sessions has recused himself from the investigation.

Southern California Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat and ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, was quick to respond:

Adam Schiff tweet

This story has been updated.