President Trump has no plans to remove his special counsel, Robert Mueller, despite his friend's claim that the option might be under consideration, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday.

"While the president has the right to, he has no intention to do so," Sanders told reporters aboard Air Force One when asked Tuesday evening whether Trump has considered firing the special counsel.

Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax and a close friend to Trump, had claimed earlier this week that Trump could oust Mueller over concerns that the investigation into alleged collusion between Russians and the Trump campaign had become politicized. White House press secretary Sean Spicer reportedly asked Ruddy to specify that he did not speak to Trump about the special counsel's fate, but Ruddy declined, arguing he never claimed to have discussed Mueller directly with the president.

Sanders also noted Trump missed much of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' testimony earlier Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. During the hearing, which Sessions requested, the attorney general dismissed reports that he had concealed a previously undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador during the presidential race and denied that any collusion occurred between Russian hackers and Trump associates.

"He wasn't able to watch much of it," Sanders said of Trump and the Sessions testimony. "He was preparing for the stop here today, but what he did see and what he heard, he thought that Attorney General Sessions did a very good job and, in particular, was very strong on the point that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign."