Trump blames reported obstruction of justice investigation on 'phony story'

President Donald Trump slammed special counsel Robert Mueller's expanding probe on Thursday, calling the inquiry into whether he obstructed justice a "phony story" and "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history".

SHAPIRO: And so the question would be, was the dismissal of Comey meant to obstruct the investigation into possible collusion or Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign?

The news came the same week as Trump friend Chris Ruddy floated the possibility that Trump would fire Mueller, who was appointed to head up the investigation after Trump fired Comey.

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

The expansion of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation would represent the clearest legal threat to date for Trump, who has long maintained that he is not personally under investigation - and who reportedly pressured former FBI Director James Comey to say so publicly.

He noted that this was the same newspaper that was "dead wrong" when it reported that Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein threatened to resign during the firing of FBI Director James Comey and when it reported that Comey requested for "more resources" for the Russian Federation investigation before he was sacked. He told the panel that he and others, including Trump, concluded months before Comey's termination that it was time for a "fresh start" at the bureau, adding concerns about Comey's performance were never discussed with the then-FBI chief. He declined further comment. "From what I've seen - and of course we don't know a whole lot - the answer is no", Starr said on CNN's "New Day", when asked whether he thinks there's a case for obstruction of justice.

After Comey's testimony, Trump said he had been vindicated because his former FBI director confirmed telling Trump on three occasions that he was not under investigation. Investigators are also considering the conversations Comey and the president had leading up to that point.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is opening up a probe into President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey - and whether any "improper interference" with the FBI occurred.

Trump is not the only one under scrutiny, Barrett said: Investigators are also looking into the finances of Trump associates. If - you might remember after Comey's testimony, the President said that he felt vindicated by Comey's statements.

Mueller's investigative team has expanded in recent weeks. Reporter Tony Mauro noted the addition of Dreeben may signal that "Mueller may be seeking advice on complex areas of criminal law, including what constitutes obstruction of justice".

There have been some eyebrows raised, as Mueller's staffed his team with multiple donors to Hillary Clinton. Miller said it could be in Trump's best interest if Mueller moves quickly with the probe.

The obstruction of justice investigation into Trump began days after Comey was sacked on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter, the Washington Post said. He covered President George W. Bush for five years after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Rosenstein told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday that he saw no cause for Mueller's dismissal.

  • Leroy Wright