Special counsel investigating Trump for obstruction of justice

A clear majority of Americans believe President Donald Trump has tried to interfere with the investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling and possible Trump campaign collusion, a new poll shows.

President Trump dismissed a potential obstruction of justice investigation into his conduct, calling allegations of collusion between him, his campaign or people associated with him and Russian Federation a "phony story".

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Consider that paragraph. And consider we are less than 150 days into Trump's presidency and this - an investigation by a special counsel who also happens to be the former FBI director - is where he finds himself.

Trump said he fired Comey for poor performance, though he ealso reportedly told a group of Russian officials that the Comey dismissal would help get the Russia probe behind him.

The Post report cited anonymous sources who were briefed on requests made by investigators.

"The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", a spokesman for Trump's legal team, Mark Corallo, said.

The White House press office, Trump's personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz and Mueller's office didn't immediately respond to CNBC's emailed requests for comment, which were sent outside of office hours.

His refusal to disclose conversations between himself and the president cut off lines of inquiry about the exact circumstances surrounding Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's firing, what may have happened in the February 14 Oval Office meeting where Trump spoke one-on-one with Comey, as well as Trump's reaction to Sessions' recusal. Sen. No longer is he merely focused on Moscow's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, meaning Mueller appears also to be zeroing in on Trump's actions since taking office on January 20.

Twenty million Americans watched former FBI Director James Comey testify before a Senate committee last week.

Mr Comey told a Senate hearing last week that he believed he was sacked "because of the Russian Federation investigation", being carried out by special counsel Robert Mueller.

And, like Trump, Sessions didn't exactly criticize Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the presidential campaign. He also called Comey a "nut job". If - you might remember after Comey's testimony, the President said that he felt vindicated by Comey's statements.

Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that he was certain his firing was due to the president's concerns about the Russian Federation probe, rather than over his handling of a now-closed FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, as the White House had initially asserted.

Mueller also won votes of support Tuesday from the top two Republicans in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, both of whom said they have confidence in him. He also denied that he asked Comey to utter a loyalty pledge during a private Oval Office meeting before which he asked officials, including Sessions and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a top White House adviser, to leave the room. "There's no question that Trump sought to impede an ongoing criminal investigation".

"I think that he should be more cognizant of making sure that the people who come to work with him are non-partisan, for his own credibility", Bennett said of Mueller. White House officials said the president is not considering such a step. "I don't question his integrity at all, but he has to be careful not to create the impression of partiality".

The Post report only further embroils Trump and his presidency in legal problems that also feature lawsuits from the District of Columbia and Maryland, as well as almost 200 congressional Democrats, over his business holdings and foreign governments.

"The subject matter, I was talking about matters that touch on the FBI's core responsibility and that relate to the president-president-elect personally, and then the nature of the person".

The emergence of the obstruction of justice inquiry may make it harder for Trump to have Mueller removed.

  • Larry Hoffman