A Justice official said Rosenstein was motivated in part because of frustration that recent news stories have unfairly brought on a torrent of "leak" accusations against the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mueller's team.
President Trump informed us, several times, that former FBI director James Comey told him three times that he was not under investigation. "Witch Hunt", the president wrote. Thursday night, Rosenstein issued an unusual statement complaining about leaks in the case.
At the December meeting with Kislyak, Kushner suggested establishing a secure communications line between Trump officials and the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic facility, according to USA officials who reviewed intelligence reports describing Kislyak's account.
INSKEEP: OK, so let's just remember The Washington Post reported that the president is under investigation by the special counsel for the possibility of obstruction of justice in the Russian Federation investigation.
The Justice Department's investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election is looking at Kushner's multiple roles in the Trump administration, including the Trump campaign's 2016 data analytics operation; his relationship with former national security adviser Michael Flynn; and Kushner's own contacts with Russians, according to United States officials briefed on the probe.
The president suggested on Twitter that he may have taped conversations. They have tried to highlight the positive reviews he received Wednesday when he made a statesman-like appearance in the White House to address the nation after Rep. Steve Scalise was shot during a congressional baseball practice.
Trump's tweets following the report appeared to confirm the investigation, but his lawyer said it only appeared that way because of the character limit on Twitter.
The president has denied that he has any nefarious ties to Russian Federation and has also disputed that he's attempted to block the investigation into his campaign's possible role in Russia's election-related hacking.
Trump tweet appears to confirm investigation
The White House now refers all questions about the Russian Federation investigation to Trump's personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz. Mueller also has expansive powers to investigate any matters that develop from his initial investigation.
When asked if Mr. Trump interfered in the FBI's investigation, Sekulow said that in prior interviews, Mr. Trump "acknowledged that by firing James Comey as FBI director the president acknowledged that he would in fact probably extend the nature and length of the scope of the FBI, the special counsel probe".
HORSLEY: And he went on to say despite the phony witch hunt going on in America, the economic and jobs numbers are great. Among other roles, she was an official in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy under George W. Bush.
Rosenstein told The Associated Press this month he would recuse himself from any oversight of Mueller if he were to become a subject of the probe.
On Sunday, Trump again referred to the probe, but dismissed it as a "distraction". But Rosenstein, too, may ultimately have to hand off oversight given his role in Trump's decision to fire Comey. "Witch Hunt." He appeared to be referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
A Trump's transition official confirmed the lawyer's internal order, which was sent on Thursday.
Now, ironically, we had one of those only-in-Washington episodes yesterday when both Rosenstein and Trump were face to face at the Supreme Court building.
The White House has directed questions for details to outside legal counsel, which has not responded.
With no limits to the investigation, and with the president's pique leading to ready rationales for expanding the probe, Mueller and his team will inevitably find something. Last month, news surfaced that Kushner may have discussed creating a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin with Kislyak. The president's partisan foes may be disappointed that no evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Moscow emerges. Comey testified in a Senate hearing last week that he believed he was sacked "because of the Russian Federation investigation".