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Trump denounces reports of widening Russia probe

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Washington. Credit: AP

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump expressed indignation yesterday at the reportedly widening FBI probe that now considers whether he obstructed justice, tweeting that “very bad and conflicted people” instigated it and asking why Hillary Clinton isn’t the subject of scrutiny.

“Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russia are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?” the president posted of his former Democratic rival for president.

“Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, ‘bleached’ emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared — & they talk about obstruction?” he added.

The Washington Post reported late Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, in the ongoing probe into Russian meddling in last year’s election and any possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump’s campaign. The outlet said Mueller also is interviewing senior intelligence officials.

“They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice,” Trump fumed via Twitter. “You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history — led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA.”

Trump did not deny that he was the subject of a probe into potential obstruction of justice.

At an unrelated event, he did not respond to reporters’ questions about the Post report.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred questions about Trump’s tweets and other Russia-related matters to the president’s outside counsel, Marc Kasowitz of Manhattan. Kasowitz did not respond to a request for comment.

Vice President Mike Pence also has retained a private attorney for the Russia probes, according to a Pence spokesman. The lawyer is Richard Cullen of Richmond, Virginia.

When asked whether Trump has confidence in Mueller, appointed to oversee the FBI probe into Kremlin activities, Huckabee Sanders said, “I believe so.”

But she added that she has not spoken to the president specifically about the subject. She repeated that Trump has “no intention” to oust Mueller.

Huckabee Sanders could not say if investigators, the news media, the Democrats or all were the subject of Trump’s tweeted ire.

Ousted FBI Director James Comey testified to a Senate panel last week that Trump had expressed a “hope” that Comey would drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Comey said he would leave it to Mueller to determine whether the conversation and other interactions rise to obstruction of justice.

Comey also acknowledged he had told Trump at the time that the president wasn’t personally the target of an investigation.

Trump said during his campaign that he would prosecute Clinton, who used a private email server during her time as secretary of state. Clinton did not immediately respond to Trump’s tweets about her.

Also yesterday, Huckabee Sanders said the administration is “committed to existing sanctions against Russia.” She was responding to a question about Senate approval of an amendment that would expand sanctions on Moscow and require a congressional review if the president moves to ease or lift penalties already imposed.


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