Robert Mueller gifts probe to US President Donald Trump for birthday

Alvin Kelly
June 19, 2017

Director James Comey testified in the US Senate over President Donald Trump after Comey a week ago.

Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who met with the special counsel a day earlier, said, "I have a lot of confidence in Mueller".

The Washington Post, citing unidentified officials, carried the report on Wednesday.

The president did not directly address allegations that he is being probed for possibly obstructing justice, a potentially impeachable offense.

President Donald Trump confirmed Friday he is under federal investigation and appeared to single out a senior Justice Department official for criticism, underscoring his growing frustration with the persistent focus on Russia's involvement in the 2016 election and possibly his campaign.

Trump has hired one of his longtime lawyers, Marc Kasowitz, to represent him in the multiple inquiries.

According to the paper, Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers's recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller's investigators as early as this week. "They are so easy to win", said Turnbull.

The move ordered Thursday by the transition's general counsel cast a wide net on documents tied to the Russian Federation investigation as well as inquiries into the activities of Trump associates.

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The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking interviews with three Trump administration officials who weren't involved in Trump's campaign.

USA TODAY previously reported that the FBI was investigating Kushner for his contact with Russian officials, but there was no word at that time that his financial dealings were part of the probe.

"To the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate", Rogers said at the hearing, without answering whether he was asked-but not directed-to back off. But soon after the abrupt termination, Trump told NBC News that he had been going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendations. Flynn was forced to resign for misleading administration officials about his contacts with Russia's USA ambassador.

The president expressed annoyance about news reports that the probe is now believed to include an examination of whether he obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, who had earlier led the Russian Federation investigation. The intelligence committee is the lead congressional panel on the Russian Federation hacking scandal, including highly publicized hearings with fired FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Comey told senators on 8 June that Trump's shifting explanations for dismissing him were "lies, plain and simple". Comey told Congress last week that he believed he was sacked "because of the Russian Federation investigation".

Late on Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein - who is overseeing the Russian Federation investigation - issued a statement saying the Justice Department does not confirm or deny the kind of allegations in news reports about the probe, and encouraging the public to be skeptical of them. You know, the online polls.

A spokesman for Mr Mueller's team declined to comment on Wednesday.

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