Pres. Trump acknowledges he's being investigated

Updated: President Donald Trump apparently confirmed he is under investigation for firing FBI director James Comey in an early morning tweet.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has hired a lawyer known for defending government officials in high-profile investigations to help him with probes into whether there were ties between the election campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian Federation, his office said on Thursday.

Mr Comey, who had been leading one of several Russian Federation inquiries, testified to Congress last week that Mr Trump had pressured him to drop the inquiry into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump's tweet that he's being investigated "by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director" may refer to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. President Trump said he had fired the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief because of the "Russia thing".

Friday's tweets are the latest in a week of angry social media responses by the president after a report by The Washington Post that Mueller was looking into whether Trump obstructed justice. A slight majority, 51 percent, said they watched all of Comey's June 8 testimony in the US Senate Intelligence Committee.

"You are witnessing the single greatest "WITCH HUNT" in American political history led by some very bad and conflicted people!" he said in an early morning tweet.

The obstruction of justice investigation into the president began days after Comey was sacked on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter.

"Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials, ' particularly when they do not identify the country - let alone the branch or agency of government - with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated", Rosenstein said.

Rosenstein told a closed session of Congress last month that he learned Comey would be dismissed one day before penning his memo.

The lawyer for the president's son-in-law and close adviser said there was nothing surprising about the Post's report. But soon after the abrupt termination, Trump told NBC News that he had been going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendations.

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

Starr's op-ed follows comments he made on CNN's "New Day" Thursday morning in which he said there is now no obstruction of justice case against Trump, based on the evidence that has been made public so far.

Mr Mueller is leading the investigation into whether Moscow interfered in the presidential election previous year.

The transition official said the organization has also separately asked the General Services Administration to preserve records from the Trump transition that were transferred to its facilities after Trump's inauguration.

In a survey of registered voters, 45 percent said they trust Comey to tell the truth, while 32 percent said they trust Trump.

Rosenstein named Mueller as special counsel last month to lead the inquiry into Russia's meddling in last year's USA presidential campaign and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in that effort.

He said that is was "very strange" for Comey to relay the content of conversations with Trump and likened Comey to Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who fled the United States after leaking details of extensive surveillance activities by U.S. intelligence and who has lived since 2013 in Russian Federation, where he has been granted asylum. Still, the snowballing investigation has deeply angered Trump, who denies he has any nefarious ties to Russian Federation.

  • Leroy Wright