White House: Trump's tweet about Russia probe was an opinion

White House: Trump's tweet about Russia probe was an opinion

This was Trump's most direct demand yet that Sessions, who infuriated the president by recusing himself from the investigation, intervene to end the probe.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly informed lawyers for President Donald Trump that he is willing to limit in-person questions in an interview and settle for some written answers.

"This is a bad situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further", Trump said.

Sessions recused himself from overseeing the probe, leaving Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge of it.

"It's not an order".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders echoed that interpretation, telling reporters Trump "wants to see it come to an end as he has stated many times and we look forward to that happening".

Trump has raged privately in recent days that both the forces of government and the media are trying to undermine him.

Some U.S. lawmakers said shutting down the investigation early would be a mistake. Prosecutors also have to prove that the person who obstructed justice did it with corrupt "intent".

The president- along with allies in conservative media - has launched a long PR campaign against the Mueller probe, which he claims is biased and pursuing erroneous claims of collusion between his campaign team and Moscow.

Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel's office, declined to comment on Trump's Twitter post. "But if anyone helped Russian Federation to hack/steal they deserve justice", said Republican operative Ari Fleischer.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said it "was entirely inappropriate and intemperate" for Trump to make such a request of Sessions.

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"The President of the United States just called on his Attorney General to put an end to an investigation in which the President, his family and campaign may be implicated".

Similarly, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tx.) implied that Trump's tweets were because the investigation was "leading closer" to the president.

"They ought to let them conclude their work".

But Russian efforts to manipulate US voters through misleading social media postings are likely to have grown more sophisticated and harder to detect, and there is not a sufficiently strong government strategy to combat information warfare against the USA, outside experts warn.

"It would be far better if the President refrained from commenting and for Mr. Mueller to continue his investigation, which so far already has 30 indictments, including Russian nationalists", she said on Capitol Hill.

"The president's not obstructing, he's fighting back", said Sanders, dismissing the idea Trump's tweets could be tantamount to obstruction of justice. Citing three people briefed on the matter, The New York Times reported last month that Mueller is reviewing Trump's tweets as well as "negative statements" made by the President related to the attorney general and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, whom Trump abruptly fired previous year. Trump fired Comey in May 2017.

Manafort was hired in late March 2016 as Trump's campaign chairman and resigned in mid-August of that year - a stretch that included the Republican convention at which Trump was formally nominated. In another tweet on Wednesday, Trump wrote, "Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX".

"We know that there are others who have the capability", Coats said.

Trump's tweet to Sessions immediately provoked conversation about whether he had shown an intent to obstruct justice in plain sight, following a long succession of previous tweets pressuring Sessions that appear to undermine arguments that Trump was acting with no malice in firing former FBI Director James Comey at the time he was in charge of the Russian Federation investigation.

"It is a piece of evidence". Although experts believe obstruction by tweet is possible, prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a particular act got in the way of an investigation and that the person who did it meant to obstruct.

"There continue to be ongoing discussions", Sekulow said.

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