WASHINGTON, D.C. — As rumors swirl that special counsel Robert Mueller will be fired by the Trump administration, House Speaker Paul Ryan says he has received “assurances” that Meuller’s job is safe. For now.
“I received assurances that his firing is not even under consideration,” Ryan told reporters during his weekly news conference on Tuesday. “We have a system based upon the rule of law in this country, we have a justice system, and no one is above that justice system.”
Ryan’s assurances follow weeks of speculation that Meuller, who is charged with leading the probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, was headed to the proverbial chopping block.
The rumors hit a fever pitch last weekend after President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on Meuller via Twitter and hired a longtime Washington lawyer who has suggested that the FBI is seeking to frame the president.
Political watchers said they were certain Meuller would be next after Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week fired Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s second in command and a longtime Trump target.
White House spokesperson Ty Cobb made efforts to dispell the rumors on Sunday night that by issuing a statement that Trump is not considering firing Mueller.
“In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the administration, the White House yet again confirms that the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the special counsel, Robert Mueller,” Cobb said.
Sources close to the White House say Trump’s closest advisors are warning him that firing Meuller at this stage would do more harm than good in that doing so may look suspicious on the president’s part.
During his Tuesday presser, Ryan said Meuller will be encouraged to complete his investigation without undue influence from The White House.
“The special counsel should be free to follow through his investigation to its completion without interference, absolutely,” Ryan said. “I am confident that he will be able to do that.”
Calls for additional statement to a White House spokesperson were not immediately returned.