"Mueller is setting up a dragnet of obstruction, financial questions and every aspect of Trump's life and his associates lives", said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who labeled it "very risky". "Witch Hunt", Trump tweeted, referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who in early May had written a memo for Trump recommending that former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey be fired.
The memo, dated June 15, comes more than two weeks after Trump campaign officials received a similar letter dated May 26 directing them to preserve all records related to their work for the campaign, in light of the investigations being led by the special counsel and the House and Senate intelligence committees.
Trump said in an interview with NBC News that he would have fired Comey even without Rosenstein's memo.
But a source close to the President told CNN's Jim Acosta that Trump has been advised to avoid such a dramatic move. Still, the snowballing investigation has deeply angered Trump, who denies he has any nefarious ties to Russian Federation.
Trump has repeatedly complained about the probe, saying Democrats can not accept his election win. But Trump later said in a television interview that he fired Comey at least in part because he was frustrated over the Russian Federation investigation Comey was leading.
The recusal by Sessions left decision-making authority in the hands of Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.
Trump's thinly veiled attack on Rosenstein could be a precursor either to Trump demanding that Rosenstein fire Mueller-which he would likely refuse-or Trump's firing Rosenstein himself. He said this week he had not found reason to do so - making the statement in the days after Trump's friends raised the possibility that the president himself was thinking of "terminating" Mueller.
However, Trump's staff talked him out of firing Mueller - a decision they believed would have been bad for his administration, the sources told the Times. Former President Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on an airport tarmac near the end of an investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server, but there's no evidence the former secretary of state orchestrated the get-together, as Trump implied.
Moscow has denied any interference. They have tried to highlight the positive reviews he received Wednesday when he made a statesman-like appearance in the White House to address the nation after Rep. Steve Scalise was shot during a congressional baseball practice. It goes without saying that discovering any money flows between Trump campaign officials or advisers and Russian government-linked individuals or institutions would be explosive.
In another tweet earlier Friday, Trump writes, "After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my 'collusion with the Russians, ' nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!" he wrote in one post.
Among its other points, the memo also orders that any records be preserved about foreign travel by transition officials or personnel of Trump's presidential campaign.
What Financial Disclosure Has To Do With Russia Investigation?
Vice-President Mike Pence has also hired a private lawyer to represent his interests in the expanding probe.
INSKEEP: OK. And do you have any idea what is driving the president's messaging here, which seems very much at odds with, I don't know, a day ago or so when people were calling for bipartisan unity after a shooting?
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