Trump believes he can fire Mueller, White House says
'He certainly believes he has the power,' spokesperson says of U.S. president
U.S. President Donald Trump believes he has the power to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller, the White House said on Tuesday.
"He certainly believes he has the power to do so," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a daily news briefing.
Trump had replied, "We'll see what happens" when he was asked on Monday if he would fire Mueller following the FBI's raiding of the offices and home of the president's personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
The federal agents who raided Cohen's office were looking for records about payments to a former Playboy playmate and to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who both claim to have had affairs with Trump.
That's according to a report Tuesday from the New York Times. The newspaper, citing several people briefed on the investigation, reported that FBI agents were looking for records of payments to ex-Playmate Karen McDougal and also information related to the publisher of the National Enquirer.
Justice Department guidelines say only Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller last May, has the authority to fire him and only for specific cause. Rosenstein has repeatedly said that he has not seen any reason to dismiss Mueller.
Cohen said everything he did in regard to paying Daniels was perfectly legal, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing an interview.
FBI agents who raided his home and office "were extremely professional, courteous and respectful," Cohen said.
Trump denounced the raids on Cohen's office, hotel and home on Monday in New York as "disgraceful."
With files from The Associated Press