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Trump lawyer denies president is a probe target

19 June 2017

Attorney Jay Sekulow told NBC and CNN in interviews that Trump "is not under investigation by the special counsel", Robert Mueller, although Trump said Friday that Mueller is investigating him.

President Donald Trump is not under investigation for obstruction of justice despite his tweet Friday that appeared to confirm he is, a member of his legal team said, doubling down on the point with appearances on almost every major Sunday TV talk show.

The contradictory messages came after Trump first answered - and seemingly confirmed - reports that he is personally being investigated for obstruction of justice when he tweeted on Friday: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!"

Last week, Trump sent a tweet referring to being the victim of a "witch hunt".

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It seems everyone is focused on President Donald Trump telling former FBI chief James Comey that Trump hoped Comey would drop the Michael Flynn investigation.

"That tweet was in response to a Washington Post story that ran with five unnamed sources", Sekulow said on CNN's "State of the Union". "He's not afraid of an investigation because there is no investigation". "There is not an investigation of the president of the United States, period". "I don't think that tweet helped him", Gingrich said of the remark suggesting that Trump was being investigated.

Asked if Trump's social media commentary may be created to intimidate Rosenstein or Mueller, Senator Marco Rubio said "I have no basis to make a decision on what his intent is" but added that the tweets "in no way" will impede the work of the investigation.

The president has directed some of his frustration at Rosenstein and Mueller. Sen. He said Trump's statement on Twitter Friday was specifically in response to a story in The Washington Post about the expanding probe into Russia's election meddling. Earlier in the week, Trump announced he's under suspicion. "No confusion. The president is not under investigation", Sekulow said. Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and has expansive powers to probe any matters that develop from his initial investigation.

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Also reports have emerged that the senior Justice Department official has privately acknowledged to colleagues that he may have to recuse himself from his role overseeing the special-counsel probe into Russian meddling in 2016 elections, which he took charge of only after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' own recusal.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday while spending the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat, Trump again referenced the "distraction of the Witch Hunt".

"That signifies this president knew all too well that it was inappropriate", Schiff said.

Fellow panellist Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, estimated that investigators are just 20 percent into their probe, which could last for months. He has used the term repeatedly-notably on Thursday, when he said the "single greatest witch hunt in American political history" is being led by "very bad and conflicted people". This is a very complex matter, involving thousands of pages of intelligence documents, lots of witnesses.

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"It's becoming clear to me that the president has embarked on an effort to undermine anyone with the ability to bring any misdeeds to light, be that Congress, the media or the Justice Department".