Donald Trump lashes out at 'bad,' 'conflicted' Russia investigators


On Friday morning, in yet another baffling move, he went after the most powerful U.S. government official in charge of the ongoing investigation into Russia's meddling in the last USA election.

Friday's tweets have taken other aides across the White House by surprise.

"When I made a decision to just do it [fire Mr. Comey], I said to myself, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story", Mr. Trump casually explained to NBC's Lester Holt, a few days after he allegedly told Russian officials that Mr. Comey was canned for being a "nut job" and that he was happy the "pressure because of Russia" was now gone.

US President Donald Trump has lashed out on Twitter over reports he is under investigation for possible obstruction of justice, saying he is the victim of a "witch hunt".

Rosenstein generated a lot of buzz but little clarity Thursday night with a statement urging Americans to "exercise caution" when evaluating stories attributed to anonymous officials.

President Trump can not invoke executive privilege in relation to the Mueller investigation because it is being conducted by the Justice Department, an arm of the executive branch itself.

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 today. Trump initially used that memo along with a recommendation from Sessions to justify firing Comey.

"The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn't' apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired", she said. "That's undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the President's oath of office". Mr Trump wrote on Twitter - Crooked H referring to Mrs Clinton.

"No one outside the White House is contesting the fact that that is what happened, that director Comey is telling the truth", Seidman said.

In other words, Mr. Trump does not care if firing Mr. Mueller makes him look guilty, as long as he continues to get away with his crimes.

The president didn't clarify what exactly he was referring to in the early morning tweet, however he has frequently described reports about possible ties between members of his campaign and Russian Federation as a "witch hunt".

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The tweets came shortly after Rosenstein issued his unusual statement that appeared to be warning about the accuracy of such reports.

"He didn't recall this, but I responded to his comment by agreeing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policy regarding appropriate contacts with the White House", Sessions told the panel.

The department would not comment on the record on whether Trump, who has repeatedly complained about leaks on the case, requested the statement. The official demanded anonymity because the official was not authorized to be named discussing the deliberations.

Meanwhile, it does not help a resolution of this problem for Mr. Trump to let it be known he is thinking about firing Mr. Mueller.

Trump's latest tweets suggested that the raging conflict within the American ruling class-spawned by differences over foreign policy, in relation to the Syrian war but more generally involving US-Russian relations-could be reaching a new point of explosion.

FILE - In this June 13, 2017 file photo, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The Washington Post reported that Trump was under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller for potential obstruction of justice. Trump described such stories as witch hunt. Trump denies it even though he has the authority under the Constitution to fire Comey for any reason or no reason at all.

The President's tweet sparked immediate speculation about the future of the official, Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a memo recommending Comey be ousted and also later approved the appointment of a special counsel - Robert Mueller - to lead the Russian Federation probe.

A day or two later, Trump called Coats and Rogers separately, asking them to publicly deny the Trump campaign coordinated in any way with Russian Federation, the Post reported.

Citing a memo from the general counsel's office of Trump's transition team, the NYT said members were given the order yesterday for any information involving Russian Federation or Ukraine in the latest sign of the investigation's expanding reach.