US President Donald Trump is reportedly so incensed at claims he is being investigated for obstructing justice in the Russian Federation election probe that he has started screaming at television sets in the White House.
The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump's conduct marks a major turning point in the almost year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Mueller also has expansive powers to investigate any matters that develop from his initial investigation.
A lawyer for Mr Trump legal team later asserted the President is not under investigation, despite the the tweet.
The media have focused intently on Trump's tweets, accusing him of damaging the "new tone" of civility in Washington after the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice.
If Rosenstein recuses himself, Brand, a Trump appointee, would become the top Justice official overseeing Mueller's work. "The tweet from the president was a response to the five anonymous sources that were purportedly leaking information to The Washington Post about a potential investigation of the president". That prompted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Robert Mueller - himself a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director - as special counsel the following week. Comey's firing likely will be part of that probe.
Mueller's friendship with Comey and Mueller's selection of several investigators who have made campaign donations to Democrats are among the issues Gingrich is raising as problematic. The Comey dismissal could become part of a widening investigation into whether the President tried to interfere with the ongoing Russian Federation probe. An official of Trump's transition confirmed the lawyer's internal order, which was sent Thursday.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel following Comey's ouster in early May.
A White House spokeswoman declined to comment and referred questions to Trump's personal attorney Marc Kasowitz. Last month, news surfaced that Kushner may have discussed creating a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin with Kislyak.
The White House has denied any collusion, and Trump has repeatedly complained about the probe, saying Democrats can not accept his election win. The investigation expanded this week and now includes possible obstruction of justice by the president as well as possible financial crimes by Trump associates.