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Donald Trump blasts obstruction of justice probe reports as 'phony'

19 June 2017

The special counsel overseeing the investigation of Russia's alleged meddling into the 2016 United States presidential election is probing newly-elected Donald Trump for possible "obstruction of justice", The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

It wasn't immediately clear to whom Trump was referring to in his comment "the man who told me to fire" Comey.

Rosenstein's statement also came hours before an ABC report that claimed the deputy attorney general had said he might need to recuse himself from Mueller's probe.

The news comes one day after Rosenstein affirmed his support for the special counsel, despite recent reports that Trump was weighing Mueller's dismissal.

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The Post quoted five people briefed on the requests, saying those who agreed to be interviewed include national intelligence director Daniel Coats, Admiral Mike Rogers who heads the NSA, and his recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett.

He said that the President told him to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

President Donald Trump confirmed on Friday for the first time that he's being investigated for his role in firing Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, calling the probe a "witch hunt".

Mueller has hired 13 new lawyers to help him handle his investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice and if members of his presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

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"Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russian Federation are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?" the President tweeted in the afternoon, as he said the Clintons deserved an obstruction of justice probe. "Witch Hunt", Trump stated in a Twitter message.

Trump was forced to fire Flynn in February after he misled the White House about his contacts with Russian officials a year ago as a member of Trump's transition team. Mueller has scheduled meetings with top intelligence officials to determine whether the President tried to pressure them to shut down the Russian Federation investigation. "Witch Hunt", the President wrote in his tweet on Friday morning (local time).

In a second tweet, Trump touted his "powerful" presence on social media, despite widespread criticism that his recurring rants on Twitter and other online media have only compounded his legal and political problems.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski said, "It's really causing a problem for the presidency".

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The requests from Mueller also pointed towards a new scrutiny on whether the President tried to influence the Russian Federation investigation through conversations he had with Comey, whom he ultimately fired, or with other officials.

Donald Trump blasts obstruction of justice probe reports as 'phony'