President Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow, said Thursday that Trump is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the federal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
In an interview Thursday with Fox News's "Your World" with Neil Cavuto, Sekulow dismissed rumors that Trump is considering firing Mueller.
"The president is not thinking about firing Robert Mueller," Sekulow told Cavuto, "so the speculation that’s out there is just incorrect.”
On Thursday, news broke that Mueller had convened a grand jury in Washington, D.C.
In a statement, White House lawyer Ty Cobb said that the move was unexpected but that the Trump administration was fully committed to complying with the probe.
“Grand jury matters are typically secret. The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly," Cobb said in a statement. "The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller."
Sekulow confirmed that the White House was unaware that a grand jury had been convened.
“No," Sekulow said in response to a direct question, "but this is not a surprise because the empaneling of a grand jury in situations like this, when you’ve got an investigation, is typically how you move forward."
He described it as a "standard operating procedure," adding that the Trump team had "no reason to believe that the president is under investigation here.”
Speculation about whether Trump would fire Mueller was first raised in June, when a close friend to the president told PBS that he believed Trump was considering it.
“I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel,” Chris Ruddy said in June. “I think he’s weighing that option.”
“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.”