WASHINGTON • President Donald Trump has acknowledged that he is under investigation in a probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential race and possible collusion by his campaign - and appeared to assail the Justice Department official overseeing the inquiry.
Mr Robert Mueller, the special counsel named by the department to investigate the Russia matter, is now examining whether Mr Trump or others sought to obstruct the probe, a person familiar with the inquiry said on Thursday.
"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday, referring to his May 9 dismissal of Mr James Comey.
Mr Trump did not identify "the man", but seemed to be questioning the integrity of Deputy Attorney- General Rod Rosenstein, the Justice Department's No. 2 official who appointed Mr Mueller on May 17, supervises the probe and wrote a memo to Mr Trump critical of Mr Comey that preceded Mr Comey's firing.
Hours later, a source close to Mr Trump's outside legal team said the President did not intend his tweet to be confirmation of the investigation but rather was reacting to a Washington Post story.
Mr Rosenstein has said privately he may need to recuse himself from matters relating to the Russia probe because he could become a witness in the investigation, ABC News reported on Friday.
ABC said Mr Rosenstein told Associate Attorney-General Rachel Brand she would have authority over the probe if he were to step aside. The Democratic National Committee called on Mr Rosenstein to recuse himself from the Russia matter, but also said authority over the investigation should be given to Mr Mueller and not another Trump appointee.
Mr Trump kept up his criticism of the investigations, writing on Twitter: "After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my 'collusion with the Russians,' nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!"