Trump 'confirms' he's under probe

Rep. Adam Schiff D-Calif. ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee speaks after a closed meeting on Capitol Hill Tuesday

"And second, if the president thinks he can fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and replace him with someone who will shut down the investigation, he's in for a rude awakening".

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday confirmed he is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for firing ousted Director James Comey.

A White House spokesman referred a request for comment on Friday's tweets to the president's legal team.

Trump's surrogates have launched a broad campaign to discredit Mueller, claiming conflicts of interest and that he has been bringing on prosecutors who have supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Allies have even floated the idea that Mueller may be fired.

He appeared to be referring to Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general who is now leading the probe.

Brand was confirmed as the No. 3 Justice Department official on a 52-46 vote in the Senate on May 18, with Democrats lining up against her. And as Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) declared in a tweet Thursday, "If Trump fired Mueller (he'd also have to fire Dep AG Rosenstein), it would be an 11 on the Richter scale of #obstructionofjustice".

ABC News reported Friday that sources within the Department of Justice said Rosenstein had acknowleged that he could have to recuse himself in a meeting with colleagues.

But then Rosenstein made the surprise move to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the Russian Federation investigation, a development that people close to Sessions and Trump believe has worsened matters for everyone involved.

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President Donald Trump walks with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from the Oval Office to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, June 16, 2017, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., then onto Miami.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) called on Rosenstein to recuse himself from the Russian Federation matter, but said authority over the investigation should be given to Mueller and not another Trump appointee.

It was Rosenstein who appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to run the investigation into Russian government interference with the 2016 election - and, importantly, it is Rosenstein who still retains the power to fire Mueller, as President Trump is said to have mused about in recent days.

Tensions are building inside the Justice Department as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein contemplates whether he will become a witness in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA elections.

The president complained the probe is unfair and wondered why his defeated Democratic opponent wasn't getting the same scrutiny.

The transition order came the same day that Vice-President Mike Pence's confirmed that he had hired a private lawyer to represent his interests in the expanding probe.

Mr Pence's office confirmed he had retained Richard Cullen, a former Virginia attorney general and USA attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to assist "in responding to inquiries" from Mr Mueller.

Mueller's investigation appeared to be reaching a broadening circle of current and former officials. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the investigators were looking into possible obstruction of justice.

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