WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - The White House "has been advised" that President Donald Trump has the authority to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Tuesday (April 10).
Trump fumed to reporters about Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign on Monday after the FBI raided the office and other properties of his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
The president described the raid as a crime, called the probe "a disgrace" and "an attack on our country" and entertained a question about whether he would fire the special counsel, but didn't directly answer it.
"We'll see what happens," he said.
Sanders, asked repeatedly about the remarks on Tuesday, referred many questions to Trump's lawyers and the Department of Justice. But asked whether Trump can fire Mueller, she insisted that he could.
"We've been advised that the president certainly has the power to make that decision," she said, an answer that suggests the White House has explored the matter.
Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein, who is supervising Mueller's investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, has said that only he can fire Mueller, and only for cause.
He has repeatedly backed the special counsel, and signed off on the raid of Cohen's properties, according to a person familiar with the matter.