President’s Attorney Jay Sekulow: Trump Not Under Investigation
WASHINGTON (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 repeatedly stressed that “the president has not been and is not under investigation.” He said a Friday tweet from Trump was specifically directed at a story in The Washington Post about the expanding probe into Russia’s election meddling.
As evidence, Sekulow said that Trump has not been notified of any investigation. He also cited the testimony from former FBI Director James Comey before the Senate intelligence committee, in which Comey said he had told Trump he was not under investigation in the months leading up to his May 9 firing.
Asked about the possibility that an investigation has since developed and the president just does not know, Sekulow said: “I can’t read people’s minds, but I can tell you this, we have not been notified that there’s an investigation to the president of the United States. So that — nothing has changed in that regard since James Comey’s testimony.”
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 Comey, but Trump’s firing of the FBI director may now be part of the probe.
The president has denied that he has any nefarious ties to Russia and has also disputed that he’s attempted to block the investigation into his campaign’s possible role in Russia’s election-related hacking.
The president has directed some of his frustration at Rosenstein and Mueller. Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that he does not expect Trump to seek to fire them.
“I don’t believe it’s going to happen,” said Rubio on CNN’s State of the Union. ”The best thing that could happen for the president, and the country, is a full and credible investigation.”
While aides have advised Trump to stay off Twitter, the president continued to weigh in Sunday as he spent the weekend at Camp David, the government-owned presidential retreat in Maryland.
In a two-part tweet posted before 7 a.m., Trump wrote: “The MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN agenda is doing very well despite the distraction of the Witch Hunt.”
Sekulow appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s State of the Union, CBS’s Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday on Fox. Rubio spoke on NBC, CNN and CBS.
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