The White House made very clear Tuesday to Newsmax — for now, at least – it was not going to say anything about special counsel Robert Mueller or his investigation into possible Russian influence in the 2016 elections.
Thirty days after onetime FBI Director Mueller was named by the Justice Department as special counsel, White House press secretary Sean Spicer would not say President Trump thinks of him so far.
In addition, the White House will not say whether the president feels he can fire onetime FBI Director Mueller if he feels he has exceeded his mandate to oversee the investigation.
"I literally have not had that kind of conversation [with Trump]," Spicer told us Tuesday. "I have not discussed that with the president."
Going back to the administration of Ulysses S. Grant (1868-76), special counsels have been routinely removed by the president or Department of Justice when they felt the counsel exceeded the boundaries of their investigations.
The man considered the first special counsel, James Henderson, was fired by Grant when the probe into corruption within his administration came too close to the president's secretary James Babcock.
In 1952, special counsel Newbold Morris was fired by Attorney General J. Howard McGrath after 63 days on the job of investigating alleged corruption within the Department of Justice because it was felt Morris was going too far.
Perhaps most famously, Archibald Cox was fired as Watergate special prosecutor in the fall of 1963 by Acting Attorney General Robert Bork on orders from President Richard Nixon. As solicitor general, Bork assumed the top job at the Justice Department after Attorney General Eliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than fire Cox.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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