President Donald Trump “believes he has the power to” fire special counsel Robert Mueller, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday.
“He certainly believes he has the power to do so,” Sanders said when asked whether Trump believes he has that power.
She did not suggest Trump would be moving to fire Mueller.
Under the special counsel regulations, Mueller may be “disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the attorney general.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from all matters related to the 2016 presidential campaign, so only Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has the power to fire Mueller.
Trump does have the ability to fire Rosenstein, for no reason at all, as a member of the executive branch.
Asked about Trump’s comments that the raid on longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s office and hotel room Monday is “an attack on our country,” Sanders said she has nothing to add.
“I think that the President has been clear that he thinks this has gone too far and beyond that I don’t have anything to add,” Sanders said. “I think the President has been clear what his position is.”