Trump acknowledges he is under investigation in Russian Federation probe

President Donald Trump appeared to confirm Friday that he is under investigation for obstruction of justice, claiming that he is being investigated for firing FBI Director James Comey by the man who told him to do it.

But as the legal rope has tightened, his allies have gone on the offensive, questioning the credibility of the special investigator Mueller, a respected former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who served under Republican president George W. Bush.

Comey declined Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's request to testify and went before the Senate Intelligence Committee instead.

"His concern was, because we're looking at the potential - again, that's the subject of the investigation - coordination between the campaign and Russian Federation, because it was President Trump - President-elect Trump's campaign, this person's view was, inevitably, his behavior, his conduct will fall within the scope of that work", Comey said. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the investigators were looking into possible obstruction of justice.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted a widely circulated memo to the president last month raising concerns over Comey's performance, but Trump later asserted that he had already made the decision himself to fire Comey.

In a tweet Thursday morning, Trump, who has been putting together his own team of outside lawyers to represent him, called the Post's report Wednesday that he is being investigated for collusion "phony".

Of course, "unnamed officials" are the source of the story.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the investigators were looking into possible obstruction of justice. He's a leaker, ' Trump said at a press conference referencing Comey, before pivoting to trade deficits and other geographic regions that could pose a problem to the United States.

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Beyond telling Americans to be skeptical of any "anonymous allegations", it seems that Rosenstein is insinuating that government officials cited in many news stories may not be American.

Gingrich, the former House speaker whose wife is seeking Senate approval to become the US ambassador to the Vatican, continued to defend Trump Thursday morning.

Kushner has agreed to discuss his Russian contacts with the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting one of several investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. On Monday, a Trump friend said the president was considering dismissing Mueller although the White House said later he had no plans to do so.

In an address to the country, Trump struck a notably less partisan tone in response to his first major domestic crisis.

It was unclear whether his tweet about being under investigation was based on direct knowledge or new media reports that suggest Mueller is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey.

Trump on Thursday tweeted that the investigation was "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people!"

Mr Trump reportedly told Russian officials at an Oval Office meeting a day after sacking Mr Comey that his position had now eased.

Coats and Rogers testified last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee that they did not feel pressured by Trump to curtail the investigation, but they refused to answer questions about the actual content of discussions they held with Trump on the matter. As for Comey, he remains a shrewd and calculating defender of the rule of law and its instruments, positioned to defend them against a president he sees as an unprincipled political opportunist in a highly unsafe time for the country.

  • Adam Floyd