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Donald Trump acknowledges he is under investigation in Russia probe

19 June 2017

A barrage of damaging stories emerged this week, including a Washington Post report that said Mueller's probe has expanded to also explore whether Trump obstructed justice by firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, who was overseeing the Russian Federation probe, and allegedly pressuring intelligence officials to interfere in the probe.

Comey told a Senate panel last week he believed Trump fired him because of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Russian Federation probe.

Mr. Rosenstein later appointed Robert Mueller to lead the investigation into ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, which the president has repeatedly labeled a "witch hunt". But then Rosenstein made the surprise move to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the Russian Federation investigation, a development that people close to Sessions and Trump believe has worsened matters for everyone involved.

The rising criticism puts a new focus on the relationships between the president, special counsel and the Justice Department, especially as questions loom over whether Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's probe. Comey also testified Trump had directed him to drop a related FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote his own letter, insisting that Rosenstein's hard-earned reputation as an "apolitical actor" was "now imperiled" by the deputy attorney general's role in Comey's firing.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.

ABC said Rosenstein told Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand that she would have to assume those responsibilities if he disqualified himself from the investigation.

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Confidants and advisers close to Mr Trump said his fury was mounting at the probe and he had been yelling at TV sets about its press coverage.

KEITH: In that same interview, Trump said that the Russian Federation investigation had been on his mind when he chose to fire Comey.

It was unclear whether the president was referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

A Trump confidant said this week the president had considered firing Mueller.

Published reports have indicated that Mueller is looking into whether Trump tried to obstruct justice.

Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, invoked Watergate to remind Congress the stakes. "I recognize the importance of these questions, and I think that Director Mueller ought to review that and make a determination of whether or not he believes it is within the scope of his investigation".

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The White House confirmed that Mueller was among the candidates Trump interviewed to replace Comey.

Today, in another series of furious tweets, it seems Trump has inadvertently confirmed this news.

The order comes as US Vice-President Mike Pence's office said he had hired Mr Richard Cullen, chairman of law firm McGuireWoods, to help him respond to inquiries from Mr Mueller, a spokesman said.

Thursday, Trump griped he was receiving unfair treatment from investigators compared with his election opponent, Hillary Clinton. Pence headed the Trump transition until Inauguration Day.

It was not clear what prompted the statement, although it came hours after The Washington Post reported that the business dealings of Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are being examined as part of Mueller's investigation.

He also has millions of followers on his official Facebook pages.

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Donald Trump acknowledges he is under investigation in Russia probe