The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — A member of the president’s outside legal team said Sunday that Donald Trump is not under federal investigation, days after Trump appeared to confirm he was with a tweet about being the target of a “witch hunt.”
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.
“The president is not under investigation by the special counsel,” said Sekulow. “The tweet from the president was a response to the five anonymous sources that were purportedly leaking information to The Washington Post about a potential investigation of the president.”
The Post reported last week that Robert Mueller — the special counsel appointed to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election — was looking into whether Trump obstructed justice. Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and has expansive powers to probe any matters that develop from his initial investigation.
The president wrote on Twitter Friday: “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”
“Witch hunt” has become Trump’s preferred phrase to dismiss the probe into Russian election interference. The message apparently referred to Rosenstein, whose role leading the federal investigation has become increasingly complicated. The White House used a memo he wrote to justify Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, but Trump’s firing of Comey may now be part of the probe.
Sekulow said that Trump has not been notified of any investigation and that the latest information they have is from Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said the “last thing we know is when he testified just a couple weeks back. That the president was not and is not a target of investigation.”