It suffices to say that this is a big deal, and the revelation that a sitting president is being scrutinized by the Justice Department for potential criminal acts is rightly dominating the political news.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, the president repeated his assertion that Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign is a "WITCH HUNT" based on the "phony" premise of possible collusion between Russia and a team of Trump campaign associates. 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. Investigators would have to demonstrate corrupt intent on the part of the president, which is a high bar to clear.
In another tweet earlier Friday, Trump writes, "After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my 'collusion with the Russians, ' nobody has been able to show any proof".
The White House cited his memo as a reason for firing Comey, but Trump later admitted in an interview with NBC News that he was going to fire him regardless of the recommendation of his top appointees at the DOJ and was thinking about the bureau's investigation into Russia's meddling in the election.
If Trump is confirming the existence of an investigation targeting him, it would represent an extraordinary development less than five months into his presidency.
Trump's tweets came after the top lawyer for his transition team warned the organization's officials to preserve all records and other materials related to the Russian Federation probe. Ditching derogatory rhetoric about the Washington "swamp", he rallied in support of his fellow politicians and called on the country to pull together.
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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 Trump's inauguration. Trump surely understands that would be a political disaster. And even if they did build a convincing case, responsibility for holding Trump accountable would fall to the Republican-controlled Congress, which won't move against the president so long as he can sign tax cuts for rich people into law.
The White House confirmed Mr Mueller was among the candidates the president interviewed to replace Mr Comey.
Trump and his supporters have repeatedly complained about leaked reports on the progress of Mueller's investigation, many of which have appeared in either the Post or The New York Times. "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", Kasowitz said via a spokesman.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department's Trump-Russia probe following reports that he had twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump also trained his fire on his onetime rival Hillary Clinton.
"It's basically all he talks about on the phone", said one adviser.
Sessions told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence under oath on June 8 that he and Rosenstein agreed during their meeting with Trump that Comey should be fired.