WASHINGTON —- An attorney for President Trump disputed reports Sunday that Trump is under formal investigation for obstruction of justice in connection with the firing of FBI Director James Comey, despite claims to the contrary by government officials and the president's own tweets.
"There's been no notification of any investigation," defense attorney Jay Sekulow told Fox News Sunday. "Nothing has changed in that regard since James Comey's testimony."
As for a Trump tweet on Friday — "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt" — Sekulow said he was reacting only to a Washington Post story about the alleged probe citing anonymous sources.
A person familiar with the matter confirmed to USA TODAY that Trump is indeed under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and his team.
Trump referred to the "witch hunt" again in a series of tweets Sunday, saying in one missive that "the MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN agenda is doing very well despite the distraction of the Witch Hunt. Many new jobs, high business enthusiasm."
The president's "investigation" tweet on Friday appeared to refer to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel last month, shortly after Comey's dismissal.
Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he believes Trump fired him because he resisted the president's request to drop the Russia investigation, especially as it pertained to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Asked on Fox News about reports that Trump may consider removing Rosenstein and maybe Mueller from their posts, Sekulow said, "I've heard nothing about that at all. Nothing."
In his Sunday morning television appearances, Sekulow said Trump fired Comey over performance issues. The president's lawyer noted that some Democrats called for Comey's dismissal because of the way he handled the email investigation into Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
On another question — Trump's suggestion that he may have tapes of conversations with Comey — Sekulow told CBS' Face The Nation, "I think the president is going to address that in the week ahead."
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
Senate and House committees are also investigating Trump. As with Mueller's efforts, the congressional probes began over potential links between Trump's campaign and Russians who sought to influence last year's election by hacking Democrats close to Clinton.
As for Trump's repeated criticism of the "witch hunt" against him, Sekulow told NBC's Meet The Press: "He's not afraid of the investigation. There is no investigation. I want to be clear here."
Even as he denied any investigation, Sekulow made references to an obstruction of justice investigation during his Fox News Sunday interview, prompting expressions of incredulity from host Chris Wallace.
"Oh, boy," Wallace said at one point. "This is weird."
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