'Detestable Lie': Sessions Says He Didn't Collude With Russians

Rosenstein said he is the individual who now has the authority to hire or fire Mueller after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigation into Russia amid questions about his contacts with Russian officials during the President Donald Trump's campaign.

Coulter suggested that because Comey had testified that Trump hadn't been personally under investigation while he was FBI director, the objective of Mueller's commission "is now over". She asked whether he has seen "any evidence of good cause" to fire Mueller. Sessions argued that in the context of the hearing, "my answer was a fair and correct response to the charge as I understood it".

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Tuesday he had confidence in Mueller and that he should be left alone to conduct an independent investigation, NPR's Susan Davis reports.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied on Tuesday having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the USA or conversations with any Russian officials about the US election that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

But both Rosenstein and Sessions serve at the pleasure of the president, and if Rosenstein refused to fire Mueller, in theory, Trump could appoint someone to Rosenstein's job who would do his bidding, just as Nixon did after the infamous "Saturday Night Massacre", where Robert Bork (yes, that Robert Bork) carried out Nixon's wishes.

"Senator, I'm not going to follow any order unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders", Rosenstein said.

Appearing on Fox News' "Fox & Friends First" morning show, the Texas Republican said Mueller should recuse himself as special counsel investigating Russian Federation meddling in the election and what, if any, collusion existed with President Donald Trump's campaign. So, that's what I would do.

"As long as I'm in this position, he's not going to be fired without cause", he added.

Asked in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing if there was any cause to fire Mueller, Rosenstein flatly replied: "No".

Mr Schiff told news channel MSNBC's Morning Joe programme on Tuesday that "I don't think the Congress would sit still and allow the president to pick his own investigator".

COLLINS: And second, if President Trump ordered you to fire the special counsel, what would you do? This was after a February meeting in which Comey said Trump told Sessions and others to leave the room before asking him to drop a probe into National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation. A top Justice department official also said there was no "special plan" to fire Mueller but the caveats he put into the issue generated speculation as to whether the White House is indeed considering such an idea.

"It's a mistake to pretend that this is going to be some neutral investigation", Gingrich said.

Conservative news outlets have been working hard to discredit Mueller in recent days, citing what Fox News' Sean Hannity called his "massive conflict of interest"-a friendship with fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey".

Sessions on Saturday said he would appear before the intelligence committee, which has been doing its own investigation into Russian contacts with the Trump campaign. An order from the president would not necessarily qualify, he said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he did not have third meeting with the Russian ambassador to the United States. "These investigations are important", Ryan said.

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