White House now a crime scene

President Donald Trump on Thursday denounced what he called "the single greatest witch hunt in American political history" after The Washington Post reported that he is being investigated for obstructing justice.

Instead of casting doubt on the existence of an obstruction investigation, Trump is acknowledging the probe and trying to use it to cast himself as the victim of a plot to destroy his presidency.

Several top intelligence officials have agreed to be interviewed by Mueller's team, according to reports in both The Washington Post and New York Times. After the two leaders met in NY last month, Mr Trump called their relationship "fantastic".

The pair of tweets come one day after the Washington Post reported that Mueller's Russian Federation probe has been expanded to include potential crimes committed by the president. Mr Trump later contradicted his own staff, saying on 11 May he had the Russian Federation issue in mind when he fired Mr Comey.

Former FBI Director James Comey assured Trump in January that he was not under investigation.

Comey told Congress last week that before being sacked, Trump pressured him to drop an investigation into his former national security advisor, Mike Flynn, who was forced to quit for lying about his links to Moscow. "Nice", Trump tweeted, later repeating his accusation that the probe is a "witch hunt".

The special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election plans to interview two top USA intelligence officials about whether President Donald Trump sought their help to get the Federal Bureau of Investigation to back off a related probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to three people familiar with the inquiry. They're also looking at the accounts that any other government officials, especially senior intelligence officials, can provide about their own conversations with Trump or possibly Comey on these issues.

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

Trump hasn't invoked executive privilege so far, but the two intelligence chiefs were careful about publicly discussing anything that could fall under that protection.

Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes by Trump associates, the daily said, quoting unnamed United States officials.

Trump vehemently denies any collusion between himself or any of his associates and Russian Federation.

Reports said Trump approached Coats and Rogers to get their help in derailing the Russian Federation investigation.

He said: "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".

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

A spokesman declined to comment when asked by the Post. All week, some of Trump's most ardent defenders, including his son Donald Trump Jr., his White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and friend and occasional adviser Newt Gingrich have questioned the probe in similar ways.

  • Larry Hoffman