US President Donald Trump is considering whether to fire the special counsel overseeing the investigation into alleged Russian interference in last year's election, a friend says.
Some conservatives have recently attacked Robert Mueller's credibility, urging Mr Trump to review his role.
Christopher Ruddy, a long-time friend of Mr Trump, said he was considering "terminating the special counsel".
But the White House said Mr Trump never discussed the issue with Mr Ruddy.
Chief executive of conservative website Newsmax Media, Mr Ruddy told PBS Newshour: "I think he is considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel."
"I think he's weighing that option."
Mr Ruddy was at the White House on Monday.
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White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement hours after the interview: "Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue."
As special counsel, Mr Mueller is overseeing the inquiry, including possible co-ordination between Russia and members of the Trump campaign.
He has also been instructed to look into any obstruction of the probe itself.