Trump confirms he's under investigation, lashes out at deputy attorney general

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The Washington Post reported Mueller may be interested in a meeting in which Trump allegedly urged Rogers and Coats to convince Comey to back off the probe into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

It's clear that both Rosenstein and the Trump White House are feeling the heat of the investigation with the deputy attorney general releasing a statement late Thursday telling the public to be skeptical when they read news reports citing anonymous officials.

The rising criticism puts a new focus on the relationships between the president, special counsel and the Justice Department, especially as questions loom over whether Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's probe.

And allies of former President Bill Clinton also raised concerns of political bias by Kenneth Starr, who led the Whitewater investigation that ultimately led to Clinton's impeachment.

Earlier this month, Rosenstein told The Associated Press that "if anything that I did winds up being relevant to his investigation then, as Director Mueller and I discussed, if there's a need from me to recuse, I will".

But that doesn't mean the Russian Federation story is "phony" overall.

He has decided - after consulting with a small circle of advisers in multiple meetings over the last few days - that "this is a political fight and he's going to fight it", the official said. But Trump doesn't trust others to share his message, this person said, because they don't want to share it the way he does. "Witch Hunt", the president wrote on Twitter. "If there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me what anybody says".

McCabe was supposed to testify Friday, but that hearing was canceled after a hard few days in Washington that began when Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, and three others were shot Wednesday in an attack on a Republican congressional baseball practice that appeared to be politically motivated.

In another indication of the seriousness of the probe, Michael Cohen, a personal attorney to Trump, said he has retained attorney Stephen Ryan, a former assistant USA attorney, to represent him in the ongoing probes. "He sits in the Oval Office".

This tweet does two things: First, it confirms news reports (paywall) that Trump himself is under investigation, reportedly for obstruction of justice for abruptly firing FBI director James Comey.

SUSAN COLLINS: If President Trump ordered you to fire the special counsel, what would you do?

In a series of statements on Twitter Thursday, Trump 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 cadre of Trump campaign associates.

Trump ignored shouted questions from reporters about the ongoing Russian Federation controversy as he departed the White House Friday for Miami.

While Mueller is now leading the investigation, Rosenstein still maintains the authority to make final decisions about adding resources and personnel to the probe - and most critically, over whether any prosecutions should be pursued.

The tweets also are seen by some in the president's circle as the beginning of a case against the officials investigating him. The White House denies any collusion.

US President Donald Trump speaks about the shootings in Alexandria, Virginia, from the White House in Washington, US, June 14, 2017.

As the legal rope has tightened, Trump's allies have gone on the offensive, questioning Mueller's credibility and floating the idea he may be fired.

It is an option he has apparently considered in the recent past.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she was "increasingly concerned" that Trump will fire both Mueller and Rosenstein. "Greatest privilege of my life, to serve as vice president to a president who's keeping his word to the American people", said Vice President Mike Pence. "This is feeding the private discussions in the GOP about the president's state of mind".