Trump acknowledges for first time he's under investigation


The hiring of Mr Cullen, whom an aide said Mr Pence was paying for himself, was made public a day after The Washington Post reported that special counsel Robert Mueller was widening his investigation to examine whether the President had attempted to obstruct justice.

Comey said the notes contain his recollections that Trump asked for his loyalty when they met for a January dinner and then urged him during a private meeting in the Oval Office two weeks later to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

It was not clear whether the President was basing his tweet on direct knowledge that he is under investigation, or on reports this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether the President obstructed justice by firing Mr Comey last month amid the ongoing Russian Federation investigation. Part of the revelations regarding the Russian Federation investigation and the firing of Comey has been that Trump repeatedly pushed top intelligence officials to say in public that Trump was not personally under investigation and that there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation in its supposed interference in the 2016 election.

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In another sign the investigation is expanding, lawyers for the Trump transition team issued a memo Thursday instructing those who worked for the transition to preserve documents in anticipation that investigators will request those materials for the probe into Russian interference into last year's presidential election.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel named by the department to investigate the Russian Federation matter, is now examining whether Trump or others sought to obstruct the probe, a person familiar with the inquiry said on Thursday. Now there's some question of whether President Trump wants to fire Mueller. That would leave Brand, the associate attorney general, in charge of a probe that now has Trump squarely in its crosshairs.

Deputy Attorney-General Rod J. Rosenstein also generated a lot of buzz but little clarity with a statement urging Americans to "exercise caution" when evaluating stories attributed to anonymous officials. "Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations".

Rosenstein serves under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 that Trump told him in a one-on-one Oval Office meeting on February 14 that he hoped that Comey would let go of the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for making false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Kushner's attorney said such a review would be "standard practice". "He is not going to allow Trump to bully him into recusing himself or not recusing himself".

"It would be fascinating, of course, to see the Comey memos", said Project on Government Secrecy Director Steven Afterwood.

"As the deputy attorney general has said numerous times, if there comes a point when he needs to recuse, he will", said Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior in a statement. "However, nothing has changed".

The furious early morning barrage of tweets - his second in as many days - came as the special counsel investigating Russia's influence over his election pieced together a high-caliber legal team and readied to begin interviews. But because none of those positions have been filled by Senate-confirmed people, the job would fall to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

If Rosenstein goes, who replaces him? You don't have to be a Trump partisan to have concerns about where all of this headed. "Witch Hunt", the president said on Twitter.

There is also a third scenario besides dismissal and recusal.

If "the man" in the tweet is, in fact, Rosenstein - as one person who recently spoke to Trump told CNN - Trump's anger marks a whopper of a turnaround on the same man he and other senior White House officials praised effusively just weeks ago.