In one story, the Washington Post reported that a law enforcement Russia probe has identified a current adviser to the president as a "person of interest", while a New York Times story reported that the commander in chief told visiting Russian officials that the firing of "nut job" FBI Director James Comey had taken a weight off his shoulders.
A senior White House adviser is a significant person of interest in the law enforcement investigation of possible ties between Donald Trump's election campaign and Russian Federation, the Washington Post said on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
"That's taken off." The president also reportedly said: "I'm not under investigation".
"The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it", he said, insisting "the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations". Trump admitted last week that he fired Comey in part because of the Russian Federation investigation, blowing up the White House message that the firing was based on a Department of Justice recommendation.
Mr Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week that Mr Comey was a "nut job", according to the Times, citing notes taken at the meeting and read to the paper by a U.S. official.
Comey confirmed the existence of the investigation in March, telling Congress that his agents were investigating Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the election and whether anyone in the Trump campaign had been involved.
"Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader", Rosenstein said in prepared remarks for appearances before House and Senate lawmakers that were released Friday by the Justice Department.
House members and senators said Rosenstein in his briefings steered clear of specifics in answering questions about his appointment of Mueller but made clear the former FBI director, will have wide latitude to pursue the investigation, potentially including criminal charges. I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation.
Rosenstein says he stands by memo criticizing Comey
When asked about the Justice Department appointing Mueller as Special Counsel, the President deflected the question. The Times had not seen the memo, which they said was unclassified, but parts of it had been read to their reporter.
At the time, the White House distributed the memo written by Rosenstein, which was dated May 9.
Trump has said he plans to nominate a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director soon, and that had been expected before his departure.
The White House has been thrown into turmoil by a succession of stunning allegations against the president this week, including that he may have obstructed justice by asking Comey to drop an investigation into one of his top advisors.
President Donald Trump told two Russian diplomats in an Oval Office meeting last week that by firing "nut job" FBI Director James Comey, he had taken "great pressure" off of himself, The New York Times reported on Friday. "I also expect that Director Comey will be able to shed light on issues critical to this Committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election".
The White House repeated its assertion that a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity.. But he added, I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it..
He says his memo is not a finding of official misconduct and is not a statement of reasons to justify Comey's firing.
That flies in the face of the White House's public insistence that Comey's dismissal was not linked to his ongoing investigation.
Trump has reacted furiously to the appointment of a special counsel, a prosecutor with wide authority to investigate Russia's interference and other potential crimes uncovered.