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Trump is officially under investigation. How did we get here?

22 June 2017

As special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the election intensifies, key players in the Trump administration are taking action.

But Rosenstein is not now heading the FBI's probe into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with a Russian campaign that USA intelligence officials have said was seeking to tilt the outcome of the 2016 election in Trump's favor.

Notably, James Comey, who was sacked by Trump last month, publicly testified this month that Trump had told him to ease off on his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was under the FBI investigation for his Russian links.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department's Trump-Russia probe following reports that he had twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential campaign.

After the firestorm caused by Comey's firing, Rosenstein appointed Mueller, Comey's predecessor as FBI director, to take over the DOJ Russia investigation.

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The deputy attorney general later appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead the inquiry.

At this point, the FBI's investigation has lasted for nearly a year and focused on whether there was any coordination between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 race, as well as the Kremlin's alleged interference in the 2016 election.

Trump advisers and confidants describe the president as increasingly angry over the investigation, yelling at television sets in the White House carrying coverage and insisting he is the target of a conspiracy to discredit - and potentially end - his presidency.

The tweets immediately prompted concerns among lawmakers that Trump might try to can both Mueller and Rosenstein.

Also unclear was whether the president's comment confirming he was under investigation was based on direct knowledge or media reports that Mueller is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey last month. He was forced to resign from the campaign amid reports of undisclosed lobbying work he did on behalf of corrupt pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, and an existing criminal probe into his foreign business dealings was taken over by the Justice Department's Russia investigation earlier this month.

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Mark Corallo, spokesman for Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, said earlier this week that, "The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable, and illegal".

Mr. Mueller's investigation appeared to be reaching a circle of current and former officials.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that it interviewed five people briefed on the matter, but it did not identify its sources by name.

Comey had testified that during the meeting in which Trump allegedly asked him to drop the Flynn investigation, Sessions had left the room.

Trump and his White House have offered various explanations for Comey's abrupt ouster, including that he lost the confidence of the bureau's rank and file - a suggestion flatly dismissed by acting director Andrew McCabe.

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Some Republicans have called for Mueller's firing, citing alleged conflicts of interest.