Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump Says Obstruction Investigation Based On 'Phony' News

Trump Says Obstruction Investigation Based On 'Phony' News

The special counsel appointed to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign has met with the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee in an effort to ensure their investigations don't conflict.

It quoted five people briefed on the requests and said those who have agreed to be interviewed are Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, Admiral Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and his recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett.

Mueller III to investigate Trump's own conduct marks a major turning point in the almost year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

The move, which marks an expansion of Mueller's ongoing probe into whether Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 presidential race, comes just two days after one of Trump's friends suggested the President was considering dismissing Mueller.

Trump's personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz issued a statement saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation was behind the Post story and called the leak "outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".

The attorney general defended himself - at times fervently - when asked about this testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey.

Donald Trump under investigation for possible obstruction of justice, Washington Post reports
Flynn was sacked by Trump after he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Trump is not the only one under scrutiny, Barrett said: Investigators are also looking into the finances of Trump associates.

"The Judiciary Committee has an obligation to fully investigate any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations", said Sen.

The Washington Post previously reported that Trump also asked Rogers and Coats to push back against the FBI's investigation. Harris asked him whether he kept records - in calendars, memos, emails - of his conversations with US President Donald Trump. But then the president himself said he had made up his mind prior to receiving the recommendations from the two top lawyers at the Department of Justice.

An unnamed official told the Post that the interviews suggest Mueller considers the attempted obstruction of justice question as more than just a "he said, he said" situation between Trump and Comey.

It wasn't clear whether Ruddy, who speaks with the president often, was basing his remarks on a specific conversation with the president or entirely on Sekulow's comments.

Rosenstein is charged with Mueller's fate because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters having to do with the Trump-Russia investigation.

This meeting was a topic of interest when Coats testified before Congress last week. That decision would fall to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who testified Tuesday in a Senate budget hearing he would only fire Mueller for good cause and has seen no evidence of that.

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"I think, frankly, our story shows that the president is by no means out of the woods as far as the investigation goes", the Post's Barrett told NPR.

President Donald Trump on Thursday morning denounced as "phony" the reportedly widening Federal Bureau of Investigation probe that now considers whether he was obstructing justice.

"I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling", Wyden said.

A spokesman for Mueller's team declined comment.

"Declining to answer questions at a congressional hearing about confidential conversations with the President is long-standing executive-branch-wide practice", the official said.

Virginia shooting: Gunman James Hodgkinson posted anti-Trump content on Facebook
Slater, who runs the FBI's Washington field office, said he was "not aware" of whether that encounter was related to the shooting. Hodgkinson volunteered for the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and frequently made provocative comments on his posts.

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