So nobody else in the department would have authority to do that, and you have my assurance that we're going to faithfully follow that regulation, and Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately.
The two senators have overseen a series of explosive public hearings into the Russian Federation issue and have publicly asked to meet meet with Mr. Mueller several times since his appointment last month in the wake of President Trump's dismissal of FBI Director James Comey. He said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so. But the president and his aides have not definitively said so. "I think he's weighing that option", Ruddy said when asked by Woodruff whether the president was prepared to let the special counsel pursue the Russian Federation investigation. Rosenstein was acting, because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from acting in the Russia investigation after it was revealed he had held two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before the November 8, 2016 election.
The Wisconsin Republican commented in response to a Trump friend, Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, who suggested Monday night that the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mueller from his position as special counsel.
The stated focus has been Russia's alleged efforts to tilt last November's presidential election Trump's way, and whether the winner's campaign was involved in any way.
During his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions said he had not met with any Russians during the campaign.
Since then, lawmakers have raised questions about a possible third meeting at a Washington hotel, though the Justice Department has said that did not happen.
Ruddy did not dismiss the White House communications team's words, but he did call Spicer's statement "bizarre".
Comey himself had a riveting appearance before the same Senate panel last week, with some key moments centered on Sessions.
Ken Starr, the controversial investigator of former President Bill ClintonBill ClintonStarr: No obstruction case against Trump from evidence so far Equal justice under law for fathers Webb: The shiny object MORE, on Thursday said he doesn't see a case for obstruction of justice against President Trump from the evidence he's seen so far. They will also ask about his decision to recuse from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump.
Mueller had been Federal Bureau of Investigation director from 2001 to 2013.
"I think he's weighing that option", Ruddy said in an interview Monday with Judy Woodruff of "PBS NewsHour".
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter said there's no reason to keep Mueller because Comey confirmed that Trump wasn't under investigation, while radio host Mark Levin wrote on Facebook that "Mueller must step aside".