One of President Donald Trump's personal lawyers said in television interviews on Sunday that the president was not under investigation for obstruction of justice, but when pressed on the assertion, said he was not certain.
The conservative lawyer, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, is assisting Trump as Mueller probes into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and the potential obstruction of justice by the president in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
"Let me be clear here, the president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction".
Appearing on a series of morning news programs, attorney Jay Sekulow said that a Friday tweet from Trump was specifically directed at a story in The Washington Post about the expanding probe into Russia's election meddling. "Witch Hunt." The message apparently referred to Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general whose role leading the federal investigation has become increasingly complicated.
Mueller is also looking at whether, if any potential offences were committed, Trump or others attempted to cover them up or obstruct the investigation into them, said one US official on Thursday who is familiar with the rough outlines of the probe and who spoke on condition of anonymity. "So no, the president's not under investigation, has not been", he said.
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"If The Washington Post leads were correct, the president of the United States would be ― if this were correct ― under investigation for taking the action that the Department of Justice asked him to take", he said. Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said that the panel - overseeing one of several congressional investigations - is looking forward to getting a response from the White House on whether recordings exist. "You just told us that you didn't know".
Former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate intelligence committee that Trump pressured him on the Russian Federation investigation and asked him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. A source close to Trump's outside legal team, speaking anonymously, had said Friday the president was talking about the Post report.
Sekulow: No, Chris... let me crystal clear so you completely understand.
Wallace: But you just said two times that he's being investigated. And the result of that will be good for America, so that we can move on to take some of the other important issues that are confronting us", Rubio said, adding Trump "has a right to his opinion on these issues.
Trump has denied making these comments, which Comey said he documented in contemporaneous memos. "Witch Hunt", Trump said in a tweet.
In a combative and testy exchange on "Fox News Sunday", Sekulow acknowledged he could not know for sure that Mueller has not opened an investigation, but said he had no reason to believe he had. "And the president [has] a very effective utilization of social media".