US President Donald Trump confirms he's being investigated over Russian meddling

"Sad!" the US President tweeted.

It wasn't clear whether the president was basing his tweet on direct knowledge that he is under investigation, or on reports this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey last month amid the ongoing Russian Federation investigation.

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.

Rosenstein is overseeing the probe by Mueller, which has reportedly expanded to include whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired Comey and allegedly pressured intelligence officials on the Russian Federation investigation.

Now the probe has expanded to include investigating whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice when he fired Comey.

The new allegations against Trump center on his own admission that he fired Comey because of the Russian Federation investigation, and suggestions he asked several top intelligence officials for their help altering the inquiry's direction. Rosenstein, who would be responsible for actually dismissing Mueller, told US lawmakers he would fire him only with good cause.

With Sessions having recused himself from the probe, Rosenstein now technically oversees Mueller, and only he can directly fire the special counsel.

"The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn't apply to him and anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired". "That's undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the president's oath of office".

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.


Mr Flynn was forced out in February after he misled the vice-president about his conversations with Russia's ambassador before Mr Trump took office. What is clear is that he could order the Justice Department to ax Mueller, which may result in Rosenstein's departure and would certainly intensify the uproar over the investigation.

There was already some discussion about whether Rosenstein would also have to recuse himself - he may be a witness to the president's alleged crimes - and Trump admonishing Rosenstein in public probably makes the DOJ official's recusal more likely.

"He's driving this", the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss West Wing internal deliberations. No one seems to know why he issued the statement, but with Trump targeting him on Twitter this morning, it wouldn't be surprising to learn Rosenstein released this at the instruction of the West Wing.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement Thursday night warning Americans not to "accept as true" stories based on "anonymous officials".

INSKEEP: And something that is very much in line with what the White House says, although it was more politely phrased, perhaps, than the president would do.

Vice President Mike Pence has also hired a private lawyer to represent his interests in the expanding probe. Pence headed the Trump transition until inauguration day.

He reiterated tweets from Thursday morning about the investigation.

"With this in mind please immediately suspend any deletion, modification, overwriting, or other possible destruction of the information described above, including electronic information, and take all reasonable measures to preserve this information", the memo said, according to the Times.

The president tweeted Friday, "The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media - over 100 million people!".

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