Friday 24 November 2017

Trump tweet confirms he's being probed by prosecutor

US President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

Vivian Salama in Washington

Donald Trump has appeared to confirm he is under investigation for obstruction of justice, claiming he is being probed for firing FBI director James Comey by the man who told him to do it.

It was not clear whether the president was basing his tweet on direct knowledge, or on reports this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether he obstructed justice by firing Mr Comey last month amid the Russia investigation.

Mr Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate Moscow's involvement in the presidential election last year and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates with the Russians, but there has been no indication that Mr Mueller told the president to fire Mr Comey.

Mr Trump tweeted: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt."

In another tweet, Mr Trump said: "After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my 'collusion with the Russians,' nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!"

Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein submitted a widely circulated memo to the president last month raising concerns over Mr Comey's performance, but Mr Trump later said he had already made the decision to fire Mr Comey.

The White House confirmed Mr Mueller was among the candidates the president interviewed to replace Mr Comey.

A day later, Mr Rosenstein appointed Mr Mueller, who was at the helm of the FBI during the September 11 attacks, as special counsel. The tweets were the latest in a week of angry social media responses from the president over a report by the 'Washington Post' that Mr Mueller was looking into whether Mr Trump obstructed justice.

In a series of statements on Twitter on Thursday, Mr Trump repeated his claim that the investigation is based on the "phony" premise of possible collusion between Russia and Trump campaign associates.

The president complained the probe is unfair and wondered why his defeated Democratic opponent was not getting the same scrutiny. "Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russia are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?" he asked.

"They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice."

Mr Trump yesterday announced the partial reversal of Barack Obama's Cuba policy, reimposing restrictions on travel and business in a move he said would "empower the Cuban people and hold the regime accountable". Mr Trump campaigned on a pledge to roll back Mr Obama's historic reform, which supporters said nudged Cuba towards political change by removing the "US threat" as an excuse for the status quo.

Irish Independent

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