Trump Tweets: "I'm Under Investigation"

Reports say Mueller probe now examining possible obstruction

Since news broke that he is in fact under investigation for obstruction of justice by Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the full investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, Trump's furious claim that there is a "witch hunt" out to get him has instensified.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is overseeing the Russian Federation probe - and Special Counsel Robert Mueller reports to him.

Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor appointed to investigate ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, is about to get medieval on the president.

Still, speculation is growing that Trump is laying the groundwork to have Mueller removed special counsel, an action that Trump's allies warn would backfire and potentially lead to impeachment.

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.

Hours later, a source close to Trump's outside legal team said Trump did not intend his tweet to be confirmation of the investigation but rather was reacting to a Washington Post story on Wednesday about the probe.

He tweeted in May, just days before firing Comey, that he "was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton", ending the tweet calling him "the phony".

"Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials, ' particularly when they do not identify the country - let alone the branch or agency of government - with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated", Rosenstein said in a short statement released by the Justice Department.

Appearing on a series of morning news programs, attorney Jay Sekulow said that a Friday tweet from Trump was specifically directed at a story in The Washington Post about the expanding probe into Russia's election meddling.

If Rosenstein recuses himself, Brand, a Trump appointee, would become the top Justice official overseeing Mueller's work.

And it was Rosenstein who appointed Robert Mueller as the special counsel to lead that investigation after Comey was sacked.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Friday she is "increasingly concerned" that Trump will try to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and Rosenstein.

Barak Cohen, a former Justice Department lawyer and now a defence attorney specialising in white-collar crime and investigations, said there was no requirement that the special counsel notify Mr Trump he was under investigation, so the lack of such notice meant nothing. The recently confirmed associate attorney general would take over if the deputy, Rod Rosenstein, is unable to serve.

That left Rosenstein in charge of the Russian Federation probe.

His advisers have told how the president is increasingly angry over the investigation, yelling at television sets carrying coverage and insisting he is the target of a conspiracy.

Trump also bragged to visiting Russian diplomats that getting rid of Comey relieved him of "great pressure because of Russia".

In March, Sessions recused himself from decision-making in the investigation. President Trump said, quote, "I am being investigated for firing the Federal Bureau of Investigation director by the man who told me to fire the Federal Bureau of Investigation director - exclamation point - witch hunt".

Their professional relationship was cemented in 2004, when Mueller backed Comey in a dramatic standoff against George W. Bush when the president sought to reauthorize a controversial surveillance program they believed to be illegal.

Comey has given his detractors some additional political ammunition, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he leaked details of his private meetings with Trump in order to spur the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel.

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