White House: Trump Has ‘Right’ To Fire Mueller But Has ‘No Intention’ To Do So

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily press briefing, Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said President Donald Trump has “no intention” of firing former FBI head Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the federal probe into Russian election meddling.

Speaking to reporters during an off-camera, unrecorded briefing, Sanders said Trump “has the right to” fire Mueller as special counsel but “has no intention to do so.”

Sanders gave a far more tentative answer when asked whether Trump has confidence in Mueller.

“I believe so,” she said, but added that she had not spoken to Trump about it.

White House staffers have previously asserted confidence in targets of Trump’s reported ire only to be contradicted hours later by the President himself.

Trump’s friend Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax Media, on Monday said Trump was considering firing Mueller. The White House did not deny that Trump was considering the possibility but said Ruddy “never spoke to the president regarding this issue.”

The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that Mueller is investigating whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice, a probe which will likely put Mueller in the White House’s crosshairs and which Trump attempted to delegitimize on Thursday as a “WITCH HUNT.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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