Trump dismisses obstruction of justice probe as 'phony story'

US president Donald Trump

Trump lashes out at 'bad,' 'conflicted' Russia investigators

Some speculated Brand may have to step in after it was revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. "Witch Hunt", he wrote. Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus was asked to fire Cox, but he also refused and resigned in protest.

Mr Trump did not identify who "the man" was but appeared to be questioning the integrity of Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein - the Justice Department's number two official who appointed Mr Mueller on May 17 and wrote a memo to Mr Trump that was critical of Mr Comey's performance after the former director was sacked.

President Donald Trump, in a furious yesterday morning message, said he is being investigated for his role in firing former FBI Director James Comey deriding a "witch hunt" against him led by some "very bad" people. Mueller also has expansive powers to investigate any matters that develop from his initial investigation. He's increasingly focused his anger at both Rosenstein and Mueller, according to advisers and confidants, viewing the two as part of a biased effort to undermine his presidency.

In an interview with NBC's Lester Holt on May 11, Trump said he was "going to fire [Comey] regardless of recommendation" from Rosenstein and Sessions. "That's undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the president's oath of office".

The media has rolled out a steady beat of reports on suspicions and accusations the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to interfere in the election, although as yet there is no evidence to support the theory. Comey testified that he requested Sessions never again leave him alone with Trump.

Harvard law professor Noah Feldman argues in a Bloomberg View article that Trump's tweet could force Rosenstein's recusal because of his suggestion that Comey's firing was Rosenstein's idea.

Mr. Trump's lawyer has accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation of leaking material. An official of Trump's transition confirmed the laywer's internal order sent Thursday.

Trump has told associates he has the legal authority to fire Mueller. They are Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager; Rick Gates, Manafort's business partner; Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser; Flynn; and Roger J. Stone Jr., an informal adviser to Mr Trump.

Special counsel Mueller investigating Trump for obstruction of justice
The memo to former transition team members on Thursday also seeks specific information on five people, the Times reported . The president does have the legal right to halt the kind of investigation that the FBI was conducting in the Flynn matter.

The Twitter attacks came as Vice-President Mike Pence hired a personal lawyer to represent him in the intensifying investigation.

Comey said he typed notes describing the conversations because he was anxious Trump "might lie" later about them.

A person who has spoken to Trump within the last 24 hours told CNN "the man" in the tweet is Rosenstein, who wrote a memo recommending Comey's firing and approved the appointment of a special counsel to look into Russian election meddling. The memo asks for preservation of electronic communications and data, telephone logs, audio recordings, videos, calendars and other items. The Washington Post reported Mueller may be interested in a meeting in which Trump allegedly urged Rogers and Coats to convince Comey to back off the probe into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

USA intelligence agencies concluded in a report issued in January that Russian Federation interfered in the presidential race to try to help Trump win, in part by hacking and releasing emails damaging to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump has denied any involvement with the Russians during the campaign and has called media reports of collusion a "hoax" and a "phony story".

Trump's tweets prompted Sen.

Trump did not respond to shouted questions from the media as he was leaving the White House lawns to board Marine One for the Joint Andres Air Force Base for his day-long trip to Florida.

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