Trump confirms he's under investigation, fires angry tweets

On Friday morning, Trump appeared to confirm that he was being investigated for obstruction of justice in his firing of Comey, and seemed to take aim at Rosenstein. Another official disputed that Rosenstein pushed for Sessions' recusal.

However, Trump at one point said during an interview with NBC News that he planned to fire Comey anyway, regardless of Rosenstein's memo.

A defiant Mr Trump at many times on Thursday expressed his frustration with reports about the expansion of Mr Mueller's probe, tweeting that he is the subject of "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history", and one that he said is being led by "some very bad and conflicted people".

"It has become clear that President Trump believes that he has the power to fire anyone in government he chooses and for any reason, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller", Schiff wrote Friday.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard University law professor and a senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, immediately tweeted, "And the Deputy Attorney General should have better judgment". Mueller was appointed under a rarely used regulation that gives him a broad mandate to investigate just about anything he feels is necessary, which could ultimately include Rosenstein's role in Comey's firing.

"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!", The President wrote on Twitter.

Rosenstein, in office for less than two months, is the top Justice official overseeing the probe because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself. Trump not only made a concrete argument that Rosenstein has a conflict of interest, but also deepened that conflict by asserting that firing Comey was Rosenstein's idea.

Trump's tweets came after the top lawyer for his transition team warned the organization's officials to preserve all records and other materials related to the Russian Federation probe. The order also covers separate inquiries into several key Trump associates including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, campaign adviser Paul Manafort, foreign policy aide Carter Page and outside adviser Roger Stone.

The Twitter attacks came as Vice-President Mike Pence hired a personal lawyer to represent him in the intensifying investigation. At a previously scheduled off-camera briefing for reporters, principal deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was peppered with more than a dozen questions about ongoing investigations for about 20 minutes. Pence headed the Trump transition until Inauguration Day.

The memo sent Thursday asks for records related to foreign travel, contacts with Russian "officials, agents or nationals" and background investigations into the top Trump associates now targeted by Mueller's probe.

In another indication of the seriousness of the probe, Michael Cohen, a personal attorney to Trump, said he has retained attorney Stephen Ryan, a former assistant US attorney, to represent him in the ongoing probes. He has already been subpoenaed by the House intelligence committee.



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