Trump allies question Mueller probe

President Donald Trump has "no intention" of firing special counsel Robert Mueller who is investigating the alleged Russian meddling in last year's United States presidential polls, the White House has said. "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair", Mr. Gingrich tweeted.

"Look who he is hiring".

The New York Times reported late Tuesday that Trump did consider firing Mueller, but that his staff talked him out of it, citing people with knowledge of Trump's interactions with staff. Trump discussed the implications of firing Mueller and told those around him that Mueller was part of a "witch hunt", according to the New York Times. There's no reason to fire Mueller.

During testimony to a budget panel Rosenstein said he has seen no cause for Mueller's dismissal and that he will be given "full independence" from the Department of Justice to conduct his investigation.

Several White House officials and Trump associates insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the president's views of the unfolding investigation.

Trump told Holt that the entire investigation "should have been over with a long time ago".

"Chris speaks for himself", said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy White House press secretary. Legal experts say that only a Justice official who has been confirmed by the Senate, as Bork had been, would have the authority to fire Mueller.

Trump's failure to endorse Mueller amounts to a crude display of his possible powers.

The government let the old independent-counsel law expire in 1999 - at that point even Clinton's tormentor, investigator Kenneth Starr, suggested the law needed to change.

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

Besides, he added, it should be Congress that carries out an investigation since it is given the role of oversight in the constitution.

The discussion on Mueller's investigation came after some of Trump's closest allies - including one of his sons - began questioning whether the wide-ranging probe is becoming too political. "Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue". "Why do we need a special counsel now?"

Until now, Mueller had drawn widespread praise from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Trump told NBC's Lester Holt in an interview on May 11 days after Comey was sacked that he fired him because "this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story".

But with a president as erratic as Trump, intention is a handily fluid concept.

Asked about it on ABC this weekend, Jay Sekulow said that if there were a serious basis for it, the president would be allowed: "Whether he would do it is ultimately a decision the president makes".