Donald Trump confirms obstruction of justice probe, claiming 'witch hunt'

President Donald Trump complained in a furious Friday morning tweet that he was being investigated for firing former FBI Director James Comey and seemed to accuse the deputy attorney general of overseeing a "witch hunt" against him.

The special counsel overseeing the probe into Russia's alleged meddling in the USA election is also looking at whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice, media reports say, citing unnamed officials.

It also quoted an intelligence official who said Mueller's office had asked the NSA for documents related to the agency's interactions with the administration as part of the investigation into Russian meddling into last year's presidential election, and whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Moscow.

The President tweeted on Friday morning that he was "being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!". Trump said on Twitter, calling the probe into him a "Witch Hunt".

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 he believed Trump had directed him in February to drop an FBI probe into former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, that was part of the broader Russian Federation investigation.

The rising criticism puts a new focus on the relationships between the president, special counsel and the Justice Department, especially as questions loom over whether Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's probe. Since then, Mueller, who served as FBI director before Comey, took over the investigation. "I can go around them", he wrote.

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 he believed Trump had directed him in February to drop an FBI probe into former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, that was part of the broader Russian Federation investigation.

Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she was "increasingly concerned" that Mr Trump will sack both Mr Mueller and Mr Rosenstein.

Even Trump's voters aren't entirely convinced of the benefit of his missives: While 34 percent say Trump's tweets help his cause, 26 percent say they hurt, and 27 percent say they neither help nor hurt.

The former speaker said Trump called him Monday night and that the two discussed Gingrich's concerns. On Monday, a Trump friend said the president was considering dismissing Mueller though the White House later said he had no plans to do so.

Allegations Kushner's finances are being studied as part of the investigation come after it was reported last month the team behind the probe were examining meetings he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and a Russian banking executive late past year during the presidential transition. The president might want to consider finding an actual expert in criminal law to represent him; this investigation is extensive, serious and possibly career-ending for a growing list of figures, which now certainly includes the president.

In a series of statements on Twitter on Thursday, Mr Trump repeated his assertion that Mr Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign was a "witch hunt" based on the "phony" premise of possible collusion between Russia and a cadre of Trump campaign associates.

But a department official said no-one asked for the statement and Mr Rosenstein acted on his own.

Trump's tweet comes on the heels of a vague statement on the investigation from Rosenstein, released late on Thursday, and the spate of exclusive stories about the latest developments.

Complicating matters further, ABC News reported on Friday that Rosenstein was considering recusing himself from involvement in Mueller's investigation, handing responsibility for resources, personnel and possible prosecutions to associate attorney general Rachel Brand.

  • Leroy Wright