White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday that while President Donald Trump believes he has the authority to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, she would not say whether the president will actually exercise that authority. "I know a number of individuals in the legal community, and including at the Department of Justice, said he has the power to do so, but I don't have any further announcements," Sanders told reporters during the regular White House press briefing.
"We've been advised that the president certainly has the power to make that decision," she added. "I can't go anything beyond that."
However, Sanders did not answer whether the president has lost confidence in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, both of whom reportedly approved a raid by the FBI on the office and hotel room used by Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. "The president has been clear he thinks this has gone too far," Sanders said of the Mueller’s probe. .
At the White House on Monday, Trump described Mueller’s probe as a "witch hunt." On Tuesday, the president said that attorney-client privilege is "dead" in a tweet about Mueller’s investigation.
According to a newly released Quinnipiac poll, the majority of American voters do not want Trump to fire Mueller. While 13 percent of American voters believe Mueller should be fired, an overwhelming majority at 69 percent do not believe he should be fired. Even though almost 70 percent believe the special counsel should pursue his investigation into supposed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, only 52 percent in this poll believe Mueller is conducting a “fair” investigation.
According to the Washington Examiner, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would not say whether removing Mueller would amount to an impeachable offense. Schumer said that he would like to see bipartisan legislation passed to protect Mueller from being fired. Saying that he is not willing to go further than that, he said, "Look, we hope we can avoid it." Schumer told reporters during his weekly press conference, "We hope that Congress will pass legislation to make sure it doesn't happen." Schumer said. "That's as far as we're going to go right now."
Among senators, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) both believe the firing Mueller would be an impeachable offense. However, liberal Sen. Angus King -- an independent from Maine -- does not believe that it would be.