Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the top Justice Department official overseeing the special counsel's probe into alleged Russian meddling in last year's presidential election, has told officials that he might have to recuse himself from the investigation, according to a report from ABC News.
And Trump's bombshell tweet on Friday morning - appearing to confirm that he's now under investigation for obstruction of justice and attacking his deputy attorney general - is part of a broader decision by the president to "go on the attack", the official said.
Earlier this week USA media reported that Mr Mueller was investigating the president for possible obstruction of justice.
After a close Trump associate earlier this week said Trump was "considering" firing Robert Mueller, who was appointed special counsel last month, the White House said Trump has no intention to do so though Trump has the "right" to do so.More news: Qatar goes ahead with $12bn USA fighter jet deal despite Trump's criticism
CNN has learned members of the Trump transition team received a memo, urging all volunteers and aides to "preserve" any records relating to Russia, Ukraine or investigations into top Trump campaign officials in the inquiry.
It culminated in a tweet Friday from President Donald Trump. "The Washington Post issued a story that had five anonymous sources, which they never identified what agencies those sources originated out of".
I think he's furious. Now there's some question of whether President Trump wants to fire Mueller.
On Thursday night, he issued a statement lashing out at news stories sourced to anonymous officials and that he believes are causing the President and Republicans to attack the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mueller for alleged leaks. Rosenstein, the official who would be responsible for dismissing Mueller, told United States lawmakers he would fire him only with good cause.More news: Donald Trump blasts obstruction of justice probe reports as 'phony'
Rosenstein, who would be responsible for actually dismissing Mueller, told USA lawmakers he would fire him only with good cause. 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. Who is Trump referring to?
A Republican senator on Friday also expressed hope Trump would refrain from discussing the Russian Federation investigation. Comey also testified Trump had directed him to drop a related FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The president, in his interview with my colleague Lester Holt, said it was about Russian Federation. "I'm not prepared to say that there is proof you could take to a jury, but I can say there's enough that we ought to be investigating".
Sekulow, the chief counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice since 1990, defended Trump's use of social media, saying: "He's able to communicate with 107 million people on his various social media platforms on a regular basis as he needs to, so he can directly reach a lot of people".More news: Vehicle strikes several pedestrians on London road
- Russian warplanes kill 2 top IS commanders: Defence Ministry
- Election win gives Macron carte blanche
- After jury deadlocks, Bill Cosby faces 2nd sex assault trial
- Congressman Scalise on the mend, now in 'serious' condition
- Verizon completes $4.5bn acquisition of yahoo
- Brooks Koepka caps a record week with US Open title
- Xbox One X Formally Unveiled, Coming This Fall
- The Xbox One X is not the console for everyone
- Arenado completes cycle with game-winning homer for Rockies
- Rangers' expansion draft protected list released with no surprises