Rod Rosenstein assures senators Mueller has been given complete independence to carry out Russia probe

There is no reason to fire the independent head of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, the Justice Department's number two said Tuesday.

Rod Rosenstein told lawmakers of a Senate appropriations subcommittee that he has seen no good cause to remove special counsel Robert Mueller from the probe. He further assured senators Mueller has been given complete independence to carry out the task.

Rosenstein said he is the individual who currently has the authority to hire or fire Mueller after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigation into Russia amid questions about his contacts with Russian officials during the President Donald Trump's campaign.

Rosenstein handed the reigns of the investigation over to Mueller last month not long after Trump abruptly fired FBI director James Comey, cutting short his 10-year term.

Rosenstein's testimony comes amid public statements from Trump confidants that the American president is mulling removing Mueller from the investigation.

Christopher Ruddy, who is the CEO of conservative Newsmax Media, told PBS on Monday night that Trump was "weighing that option".

Rep. Adam Schiff, who is the ranking member on the House intelligence committee, said not long after the report was made public that, should Mueller be dismissed, Congress would appoint Mueller to lead an independent probe.

"Don't waste our time," he wrote on Twitter

At the White House, Trump declined to respond to at least four questions from reporters about whether Mueller should be fired

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