No 'proof' of 'collusion' with Russians, Trump says

Angie Massey
June 20, 2017

Trump, who hired his own lawyer last month to represent him regarding probes by the special counsel and congressional committees, kept up his criticism of the investigations in a series of tweets on Friday.

Mr Trump tweeted: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" Sad!" he wrote. "Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic & jobs numbers are great.

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 of agency of government - with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated.

"Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations", Rosenstein said.

The president has long vehemently denied any collusion with Moscow.

Though Rosenstein did not explain what prompted the statement, many political observers connected it to recent reports that special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the DOJ investigation into Russian election meddling, is also investigating whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice. Comey also testified Trump had directed him to drop a related FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Jared Kushner's business dealings were also being scrutinized by Mueller's team. The tweet was not confirmation that the president or his attorney has been informed by the Department of Justice or Mueller that Trump is the subject of an investigation.

Rosenstein has been overseeing the Russian Federation probe since shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

The White House has used a memo he wrote to justify Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, but that Trump action may now be part of the probe. Trump initially used that memo along with a recommendation from Sessions to justify firing Comey.

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Trump fired Comey on May 9, citing recommendations made to him by Rosenstein.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the investigators were looking into possible obstruction of justice. Trump has, in the past, allegedly pushed US officials to issue statements denying the existence of evidence tying his campaign to Russian Federation or to help alleviate the pressure on himself or his associates.

Rosenstein hasn't yet requested Justice Department attorneys provide him their legal opinion about a potential recusal, but he has spoken in recent weeks with Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, his own deputy, about the possibility of her taking on his responsibilities as the top overseer of the Russian Federation probe, ABC News reported.

Kasowitz issued a statement saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation was behind the Post story and called the leak "outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".

On Thursday an aide to Vice President Mike Pence revealed he was hiring Richard Cullen - a veteran of the Iran-Contra investigation, Watergate and the 2000 vote recount in Florida - as a private lawyer.

If that is the case, it could be part of what appears to be a pattern of statements that are meant to back the president.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the probe, which led to his deputy taking the reins.

Donald Trump smiles during a meeting with cabinet members at the White House on Monday. "That was his promise and that's exactly what we're doing". The office of the director of national intelligence and Ledgett declined to comment. "We are not aware of any instance when that has occurred", Pompeo said in a statement.

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself, Rosenstein is the Justice Department official directly responsible for matters relating to the investigation of Russian interference in the USA presidential election of 2016, including any possible role played by people associated with Donald Trump's campaign.

Other reports by GizPress

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