Trump acknowledges he is under investigation in Russia probe

Efrem Lukatsky  AP

He said: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!"

Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, had written a memo castigating James Comey before Trump dismissed the Federal Bureau of Investigation director - a memo that the White House at first said was critical to the decision, before Trump suggested it was irrelevant because his mind was already made up.

It's clear that both Rosenstein and the Trump White House are feeling the heat of the investigation with the deputy attorney general releasing a statement late Thursday telling the public to be skeptical when they read news reports citing anonymous officials.

The tweet was not confirmation that the president or his attorney has been informed by the Department of Justice or Mueller that Trump is the subject of an investigation.

It was unclear whether the president was referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Trump was never a subject of the Russian Federation probe, nor did he ever seek to impede it, but his potential interference on behalf of Michael Flynn on a tertiary matter likely attracted this tentacle of the investigation.

Later, that position was contradicted by the President himself, in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, when he stated that he had made up his mind to fire Comey before he had even seen the Rosenstein memo.

"I don't think it's for me to say" whether Trump committed obstruction, Comey demurred, "but that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work toward, to try and understand what the intention was there and whether that's an offense".

The White House has used a memo written by Mr Rosenstein to justify Mr Trump's decision to sack Mr Comey, but that Trump action may now be part of the probe. A day later, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel.

James Comey is sworn in while testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

. 'The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations'.

Although the president is unlikely to be indicted if the Mueller's investigation finds any criminal wrongdoing, Mueller's findings could lead to calls for impeachment in Congress, where a few Democrats already are pushing for impeachment.

While he was FBI director, Comey several times assured Trump that the president wasn't personally under investigation.

Trump's surrogates have launched a broad campaign to discredit Mueller, claiming conflicts of interest and that he has been bringing on prosecutors who have supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. An official of Trump's transition confirmed the lawyer's internal order, which was sent Thursday.

His involvement in the firing has lead to speculation Rosenstein may need to act as a witness for Mueller's investigation.

Yet Trump's angry tweets on Friday underscored the near-impossible challenge his advisers and legal team have in trying to get him to avoid weighing in on an active probe.

Mr Comey said he was "sure" Mr Mueller was looking at whether Mr Trump had obstructed justice, but added that to his knowledge, the president had not tried to impede the Russian Federation inquiry.

The tweet, an apparent reference to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, went out shortly after lawmakers strongly warned the Trump administration against firing special counsel Mueller or impairing his investigation into Russian election interference. President Donald Trump's closest allies are attacking the integrity of those involved in the wideni.

President Donald Trump and I rarely agree.

In other words: Trump is going to have to fire Rosenstein if he wants to fire Mueller. Comey said he took Trump's words not as just a "hope" but as a "direction" from the highest official in the land - an order he was not about to obey.



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