President Trump confirms he is under investigation

Rod Rosenstein testifies

"Witch Hunt", Trump said in an early morning tweet.

He appeared to be referring to Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general who is now leading the probe. Trump later said he had planned to fire Comey regardless of what recommendation he received from Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation. Mueller also has expansive powers to investigate any matters that develop from his initial investigation.

A recent Washington Post report said Trump is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He's increasingly focused his anger at both Rosenstein and Mueller, according to advisers and confidants, viewing the two as part of a biased effort to undermine his presidency. Since then Mueller, who served as FBI director before Comey, has taken over the investigation.

Trump also previously said he was "going to fire [Comey] regardless of the recommendation" Rosenstein and several others sent him suggesting he let go of the director, who was serving a ten-year contract as the head of the federal agency.

Rep. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, asked Rosenstein specifically whether he might have a conflict of interest if he becomes a witness in the investigation.

ABC News reported that Mr Rosenstein has told colleagues privately that he may have to step aside from the investigation.

The furious early morning barrage of tweets - his second in as many days - came as the special counsel investigating Russia's influence over his election pieced together a high-caliber legal team and readied to begin interviews. The official demanded anonymity because the official was not authorized to be named discussing the deliberations.

The memo to former transition team members on Thursday also seeks specific information on five people, the Times reported, They include Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager; Rick Gates, Manafort's business partner; Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser; former national security adviser Michael Flynn; and Roger J. Stone Jr., an informal adviser to Mr. Trump.

Moscow has denied any interference and the White House has denied any collusion.

In a sign of the newfound seriousness of Mueller's investigation, Vice President Mike Pence's office confirmed that he has hired an attorney to deal with the special counsel investigation. The transition, a nonprofit structurally separate from the Trump campaign, continues to operate with a small staff.

Meanwhile, the top attorney for the Trump transition team has ordered the organization's staff to preserve all records related to Mueller's widening investigation.

Mr Rosenstein wrote a memo criticising former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey's handling of the email server scandal that was initially used by the White House to justify the firing of Mr Comey.

He then added, "Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russian Federation are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?" "I can go around them", he tweeted. "Sad!" Trump tweeted at one point. The President has been criticizing the special counsel appointment as the "single greatest witch hunt" in the history of USA politics.

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