OPIOID SERIES:

Trump friend says president considering firing Mueller

A friend of President Trump said Monday that Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the FBI investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel,” Chris Ruddy told PBS’s Judy Woodruff on “PBS NewsHour.”

“I think he’s weighing that option.”

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“I personally think it would be a very significant mistake,” Ruddy continued, “even though I don’t think there’s a justification ... for a special counsel.”

Ruddy said there are several conflicts that could arise with Mueller as special counsel, including the fact that his former law firm represents members of Trump’s family and that Mueller interviewed for the position of FBI director after Trump fired James Comey.

Ruddy, the CEO of conservative news organization NewsMax, was spotted leaving the White House earlier on Monday.

Ruddy’s comments come as others close to Trump have expressed doubt with Mueller as special counsel.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has questioned Mueller’s ability to be fair in his investigation, citing political donations from people Mueller has hired to staff the investigation.

A White House official told BuzzFeed that Ruddy was "speaking for himself and did not speak to the president."