(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) – President Donald Trump acknowledged publicly for the first time on Friday (June 16) that he is under investigation in the expanding inquiry into Russian influence in the election and appeared to attack the integrity of the Justice Department official in charge of leading it.

In an early-morning tweet, the president declared that he is “being investigated” for his decision to fire James Comey, the former FBI director. And he appeared to accuse Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, of leading a “witch hunt.”

The tweet was the first explicit acknowledgment by the president that Robert Mueller, the special counsel for the Russia inquiry, had begun examining whether Trump’s firing of Comey last month was an attempt to obstruct the investigation.

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

And Trump’s apparent reference to Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from it, came just hours after an oddly worded statement from Rosenstein complaining about leaks in the case.

In the statement, Rosenstein wrote, without further explanation, that “Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country – let alone the branch or agency of government – with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated.”

The latest tweet came after a series of others in which Trump continued to complain about the Russia investigations swirling around him, and just hours after members of Congress from both parties gathered at a baseball field to call for unity after the shooting at a Republican baseball practice this week.

In two other early morning tweets, the president insisted that no one has found any “proof” that he colluded with Russians to meddle with the 2016 presidential elections, and he once again assailed the news media.

After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my “collusion with the Russians,” nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

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

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

In just the last 48 hours, news organisations have reported that Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Mueller is also investigating the business dealings of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

In a third tweet Friday morning, Trump repeated his assertion that the investigations are a “phony Witch Hunt” and bragged that the nation’s economy is improving quickly.

Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic & jobs numbers are great. Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

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