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Probe has Trump adviser under scrutiny

Probe has Trump adviser under scrutiny

The day after he was sacked, officials say Comey had just requested more resources to pursue his investigation into Russia's interference in the election, and whether there was any collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and the foreign power, which fueled concerns that Trump may have been trying to undermine an investigation that could threaten his presidency.

The development comes after claims emerged that Mr Trump told Russian officials at the White House that firing Mr Comey relieved "great pressure" the President was facing from an ongoing probe into Russia and the U.S. presidential election.

Investigators into Russian meddling in the United States presidential elections are now also probing whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress who were briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

These two revelations taken together likely spell trouble for a president who has gone to great lengths to argue that he, personally, is not now under FBI investigation.

Reports have emerged that Mr Comey wrote a memo after a meeting with Mr Trump, where the US President was quoted as saying "I hope you can let this go".

"That's taken off." Trump's Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak came one day after Comey was sacked.

And, Pelosi says that Trump has left himself "very vulnerable personally" if he in fact asked Comey to end an investigation of adviser Michael Flynn. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said, according to the Times.

"I just fired the head of the FBI", Trump said. John McCain (R-AZ), a long-time Trump opponent, told CBS News's Bob Schieffer, "It's reaching the point where it's of Watergate size and scale".




He also reportedly said, "I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".

An unnamed American official read out a summary of the meeting to the Times.

The Justice Department is already reviewing Mueller's background as well as any potential conflicts of interest, said department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

The White House has disputed Comey's account of his February conversation with Trump concerning Flynn but has not offered specifics.

Unlike Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed by a three-judge panel to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton's real estate holdings in the 1990s, Mueller depends on the Justice Department for funding and he reports to Rosenstein, who was appointed by Trump.

Under this strategy, the sources said the administration would raise the issue in press conferences and public statements.

The announcement, the latest in the shock-a-day Washington saga, was made by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Despite such frustrations, members agreed that Rosenstein had received a warm reception from both Republicans and Democrats at the meeting, a development that they said showed not only praise for his selection of Mueller to oversee the probe but also a recognition that Republican resistance to an independent probe was futile.


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