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Society

Trump Not Planning To Fire Mueller

| by Jordan Smith

President Donald Trump denied reports Aug. 10 that he is planning to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into Russia's alleged interference into the 2016 election.

The president's remarks followed several weeks of speculation that Trump intended to remove Mueller, USA Today reported.

"I haven't given it any thought," said Trump, according to USA Today. "I've been reading about it from you people. You say, 'Oh, I'm going to dismiss him.' No, I'm not dismissing anybody."

Trump would not be able to directly remove Mueller, who can only be fired by the attorney general. But when Trump clashed in July with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, rumors circulated that the president may be looking for a replacement for Sessions who would be willing to get rid of Mueller.

Trump said Aug. 10 that there was no bad blood between him and his attorney general, saying of his relationship with Sessions, it "is what it is. It's fine."

In addition, Trump stressed he endorsed the Russia investigation.

"I want them to get on with the task," Trump added. "But I also want the Senate and House to come out with their findings."

John Dowd, Trump's attorney, underscored Trump's support for Mueller in a comment Aug. 8.

"He appreciates what Bob Mueller is doing," said Dowd. "He asked me to share that with him and that's what I've done."

Firing Mueller had "never been on the table," Dowd added.

Mueller's investigation has gathered steam over recent weeks. In July, FBI agents raided the home of Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager.

Politico reported Aug. 10 that Manafort has hired a new legal firm that specializes in complicated financial criminal proceedings to represent him. The move, according to one source, could indicate that Manafort fears Mueller's investigation is preparing to charge him.

Mueller's investigators have sent subpoenas to global banks for information on financial transactions involving Manafort. Investigators have also made contact with some of Manafort's business associates, Bloomberg reported. Manafort has stated he has nothing to hide from Mueller's team.

Trump was asked about the raid on Manafort's house Aug. 10.

"I thought it was a very, very strong signal, or whatever," said Trump, USA Today reported. "They [the FBI] do that very seldom, so I was surprised to see it. I was very, very surprised to see it."

Will Manafort be criminally prosecuted?
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