A close friend of Donald Trump’s said the president “is considering perhaps terminating” special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, fueling speculation that has been building in Washington that Trump could intensify the struggle over the Russia investigation.

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“I think he’s weighing that option,” Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax, a conservative website, told PBS’ “NewsHour” on Monday. “I think it’s pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently.”

“I personally think it would be a very significant mistake,” Ruddy added.


Ruddy’s mention of “one of his lawyers” appeared to be a reference to Jay Sekulow, a lawyer who appeared on ABC’s “This Week” program on Sunday and implied that Trump was considering the idea.

Ruddy’s comments came after another highly visible Trump confidant, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, seemed to encourage Trump to make the move, tweeting that “Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair.”

Mueller has served multiple presidents in both parties. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation and is testifying Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He is almost certain to be asked about the possibility of the president firing Mueller.