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President Trump denounces reports of widening Russia probe

16 June 2017

The FBI's investigation into Russian election interference has expanded to include whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Mueller's investigators have asked for information and will talk to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

None of the men were involved with Trump's campaign.

And in February, three days after former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned and two days after The New York Times ran a blockbuster story about Trump campaign aides reported ties to Russian Federation, the president used a news conference to try to divert attention to his old foe.

The obstruction of justice investigation into Trump began days after Comey was sacked, according to people familiar with the matter, the Washington Post said.

It has been clear since Mueller was appointed last month that he was likely to scrutinize the president's actions.

News that Mueller is now investigating Trump for obstruction of justice comes amid reports that Trump has discussed whether to remove the special counsel.

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Chatter surfaced earlier this week that the president was considering firing Mueller.

"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.

According to the Independent, the President? tweets could be in reference to reports from the FBI's investigation into Clinton's private email sever.

In one memo, Comey said Trump tried to direct him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

That changed following Comey's firing, sources told The Post.

A spokesman for Kasowitz said, "The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".

It is unclear whether Ledgett had direct contact with Trump or other top officials about the Russian Federation probe, but he wrote an internal NSA memo documenting the president's phone call with Rogers, according to officials.

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"When I made a decision to just do it, I said to myself - I said, 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, '" Trump told NBC News. He then said: "I might even lengthen out the investigation, but I have to do the right thing for the American people".

On Monday, a Trump friend said the president was considering dismissing Mueller though the White House later said he had no plans to do so.

CNN filed the lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, citing the public's interest in the memos, a Justice Department ruling that the Federal Bureau of Investigation should expedite the network's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and Comey's claim during his testimony last week that the memos were not classified.

The president also appeared to undermine Mueller's leadership, saying the "witch hunt" was being "led by some very bad and conflicted people!" He was also given the authority to investigate obstruction.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, hinted broadly that the special counsel investigation could be looking at Trump during a House committee hearing on Tuesday. Comey testified in a Senate hearing last week that he believed he was sacked "because of the Russian Federation investigation".

Several top intelligence officials have agreed to be interviewed by Mueller's team, according to reports in both The Washington Post and New York Times.

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