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Special counsel probe turns to Jared Kushner's business dealings, report says

19 Juin 2017

That appeared to be the first public confirmation that Trump is being investigated for obstruction of justice - and a digital salvo trained at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a memo criticizing Comey.

In a statement many have described as "odd", Rosenstein warned the US public to "exercise caution" before trusting media reports citing anonymous officials, despite the fact that the Trump administration continues to use them in official statements to the media. 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.

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor in an investigation of alleged collusion between Trump associates and Russian Federation in the 2016 election. "In fact, to the contrary", he told CBS' Face the Nation, pointing to recent testimony by sacked FBI director James Comey who said the president had not been the target of an investigation.

In the statement Thursday evening, Rosenstein warned that US citizens should be skeptical about anonymous allegations.

Trump has referred to the multiple investigations into collusion between his campaign and Russian officials as a "witch hunt" and has vocally denied that he cooperated in any way with Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

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

Kasowitz said on Wednesday that leaking Federal Bureau of Investigation information about the president was "outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", although he did not question the content of the article. Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., left, listen as Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Select Committee.

Citing unidentified sources, the news station reported that Rosenstein told Brand she would be tasked with the final decisions regarding resources made available for the probe, headed by special counsel and former FBI director Robert Mueller, and whether anyone is prosecuted because of the investigation. The report also noted such an encounter between the two men is likely to raise questions about whether Kushner's personal financial interests collided with his upcoming role in the Trump administration.

A few days later, Mr Trump individually asked Mr Coats and Mr Rogers to issue public statements to the effect that there was no evidence of co-ordination between his campaign and Russian Federation.

While the investigation had originally been focused on potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, the Post reported, the obstruction inquiry began after Trump fired Comey.

Earlier this month, Rosenstein told The Associated Press that "if anything that I did winds up being relevant to his investigation then, as Director Mueller and I discussed, if there's a need from me to recuse, I will".

Special counsel probe turns to Jared Kushner's business dealings, report says