Trump publicly acknowledges Russia probe includes him

And the president has only himself to blame.

Mr Trump wrote: "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people!"

In an address to the country, Trump struck a notably less partisan tone in response to his first major domestic crisis.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Comey had presented no evidence to prove that Moscow meddled in the USA election, adding that Washington had tried to influence Russian elections "year after year". No such conclusion has been reached.

And it was Rosenstein who appointed Robert Mueller as the special counsel to lead that investigation after Comey was sacked.

He reiterated tweets from Thursday morning about the investigation. How could any prosecutor fail to pursue this line of inquiry?

A source familiar with the Mueller investigation confirmed the report, saying an examination of possible obstruction of justice charges was "unavoidable" given testimony by former FBI Director James Comey, although the issue may not become the main focus of the probe.

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 the inauguration.

Those very public actions and statements alone cry out for investigation. Comey said he took this "hope", coming from the president of the United States, as a direction.

Mueller's investigators have asked for information and will talk to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, according to a source, who said they have also sought information from recently retired NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett.

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Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates with the Russians, but there has been no indication that Mueller told Trump to fire Comey.

To me, this looks, walks and quacks like a pattern.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Jared Kushner's business dealings were also being scrutinized by Mueller's team.

Moscow has denied USA intelligence agencies' conclusion that it interfered in last year's US presidential election campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favor.

Mueller was named by Rosenstein on May 17 to lead the Russian Federation investigation as a special counsel, a position created to conduct investigations when a normal Justice Department probe would present a conflict of interest.

Those are the prongs of the investigation - that we know of. "Someone is going to have to conduct this investigation".

A spokesman for the office of the special counsel declined to comment, and so did a representative for the director of National Intelligence. If they find none, I'm certain Mueller will forthrightly report that fact - but only after completing a proper investigation, which takes time. Gingrich told The Associated Press in an interview this week that his feelings about him began to change after Comey testified to a Senate panel that he had leaked his personal memos in order to trigger the appointment of a special counsel.

President Donald Trump put fresh pressure on the second-highest-ranking official at the Justice Department on Friday, raising concerns among the president's critics that Rod Rosenstein could be in danger of being fired, while others argued that if he stays he should recuse himself from his role overseeing the special-counsel probe that has engulfed the White House.

But it is not. He said he never met with, or had conversations with, Russians about election interference.

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