WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said on Twitter Friday morning that he is being investigated for firing FBI Director James Comey last month, raising questions about whether the tweet confirmed that the special counsel has told him he’s a target.
“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt” Trump tweeted as part a two-day string of tweets complaining about news stories and criticizing the officials and the investigations that are probing Russian election meddling and Trump’s campaign.
A source close to Trump’s private legal team headed by Marc Kasowitz, however, said, “The president was not confirming the investigation. He was referencing The Washington Post story from Wednesday night based on anonymous, illegal leaks.”
That story reported five unnamed people saying that Mueller is examining whether the president tried to obstruct justice in dealing with Comey.
In Friday’s tweet, Trump appears to be criticizing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who took over the Russia investigation after Attorney Jeff Sessions recused himself.
Rosenstein appointed and oversees Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and also wrote the memo making a case for the dismissal of Comey for his handling of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.
Trump had not spoken publicly about his attention-grabbing tweet since he posted it. The White House referred questions to Kasowitz, who did not respond to a query.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Trump’s latest tweets make her concerned that Trump thinks he’s above the law and that he will try to fire Mueller and Rosenstein.
“It’s becoming clear to me that the president has embarked on an effort to undermine anyone with the ability to bring any misdeeds to light, be that Congress, the media or the Justice Department,” she said in a statement. “The Senate should not let that happen.”
Over the past two days, Trump has tweeted angrily about the Washington Post story. “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 tweeted Thursday.
Trump fired Comey on May 9. The White House cited Rosenstein’s memo, but Trump later said in television interviews that he had planned to fire Comey anyway and said he had the Russia investigation in mind when he decided to dismiss him.
On June 8, Comey testified in the Senate that Trump told him in a one-on-one meeting that he hoped Comey would let go of an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Top intelligence officials on June 7 refused to testify about reports that Trump asked them to intercede with Comey to drop that probe.
Trump began Friday by tweeting: “After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my ‘collusion with the Russians,’ nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!”
He then tweeted: “The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media — over 100 million people! I can go around them”
And following it with: “Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic & jobs numbers are great. Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!”
In his last tweet before heading to Miami to announce his new Cuba policy, Trump touted a new Rasmussen tracking poll that put his approval rating at 50 percent — but six other June polls found it ranged from 34 percent to 42 percent.