Trump publicly acknowledges Russian Federation probe includes him

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., left, listen as Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about his role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

The Senate Intelligence Committee won't investigate whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice in the probe into his campaign associates' contacts with Russian officials, leaving the matter to special counsel Robert Mueller, CNN reported Thursday. Comey said he believes Trump ultimately fired him "because of the Russian Federation investigation".

Comey told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that the Trump administration had lied and defamed him and the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the President dismissed him on May 9.

That appeared to be the first public confirmation that Trump is being investigated for obstruction of justice - and a digital salvo trained at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a memo criticizing Comey.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in USA elections and possible Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense. "Witch Hunt", the president wrote in his tweet. 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.

The White House has denied any collusion, and Trump has repeatedly complained about the probe, saying Democrats can not accept his election win.

"He's driving this", the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss West Wing internal deliberations.

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Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday to insist that despite months of investigating, no proof has emerged that he colluded with Russian Federation to tilt the 2016 presidential election in his favor. But soon after the abrupt termination, Trump told NBC News that he had been going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendations. Trump said on Twitter, calling the probe into him a "Witch Hunt".

Eight hours later, after a busy day meeting with governors and witnessing the formal investiture of his pick for the Supreme Court, Trump returned to the topic again in a pair of tweets suggesting that Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent in the election, should be under investigation instead of him. Although USA Today also noted that the tweet came shortly after a Washington Post report that Mueller's team is also investigating Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner's business dealings. Pence's office confirmed he had retained Richard Cullen, a former Virginia attorney general and USA attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to assist "in responding to inquiries" from Mueller.

President Donald Trump says the economy is improving and job numbers are up, despite the "phony Witch Hunt" against him.

That will only add to a sense of foreboding that pervades the White House, from the crammed collective workspaces of junior officials all the way to the Oval Office.

"The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", Mark Carallo told the Washington Post".

Law enforcement sources tell CNN that the special counsel is gathering information and considering whether there is evidence to launch a full-scale obstruction investigation.

Mueller spokesman Peter Carr tells NPR's Carrie Johnson, "We'll decline to comment".

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