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Trump rips reports of obstruction probe, 'phony collusion' case

16 Juin 2017

The acronym is a reference to his campaign slogan, Make America Great Again.

Mueller's office declined to comment.

The Attorney General tried to escape the hearing without major political damage.

Today is Donald Trump's 71st birthday.

BARRETT: We got a statement this evening from a spokesman for the president's personal lawyer which basically accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation of leaking and didn't frankly say much else.

Several legal experts told Reuters Mr Comey's testimony last week - that Mr Trump expected loyalty and told Mr Comey he hoped he could drop an investigation of a former top aide - could bolster obstruction-of-justice allegations against the President.

The Washington Post, citing unidentified officials, carried the report on Wednesday.

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Officials told the Post that investigators were interested in a March 22 conservation during which Trump allegedly pulled Coats aside and discussed the Russian Federation investigation.

An unnamed official told the Post that the interviews suggest Mueller considers the attempted obstruction of justice question as more than just a "he said, he said" situation between Trump and Comey. "But that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that's an offense".

As a former Trump campaign surrogate, Sessions insisted he kept to his recusal from the Russian Federation probe even while he had a hand in firing James Comey as FBI director - which Trump later justified based on the Russian Federation investigation. Flynn was forced to resign for misleading administration officials about his contacts with Russia's U.S. ambassador.

SHAPIRO: You also report that investigators are looking into whether financial crimes might have been committed by Trump associates. House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican leaders publicly said they thought the investigation should be allowed to run its course, and that firing the special counsel would be a mistake.

During his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 13, Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintained that the firing of former FBI Director James Comey was in line with a memo written by himself and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, expressing that both him and Rosenstein felt the FBI needed a "fresh start".

According to the report, Coats, Rogers and Ledgett will be interviewed voluntarily, though it is unclear whether they will discuss their conversations with Trump in detail or if they will be instructed by the White House to invoke executive privilege.

"It would be standard practice for the Special Counsel to examine financial records to look for anything related to Russian Federation". He's been building a team of investigators for a wide-ranging inquiry into Russia's meddling in the 2016 United States presidential campaign.