First, it is the president himself acknowledging that he is, in fact, under investigation for possible obstruction of justice-something even on Thursday the White House would not acknowledge.
President Donald Trump finally conceded Friday that he is the subject of a federal investigation, testily claiming in a tweet that he is being investigated for firing FBI Director James Comey by the man who told him to do it.
"Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic and jobs numbers are great". Trump later said he had planned to fire Comey regardless of what recommendation he received from Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation.
Mr Mueller was appointed special counsel to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates with the Russians, but there has been no indication that Mr Mueller told Mr Trump to fire Mr Comey. Mueller also has expansive powers to investigate any matters that develop from his initial investigation. The Washington Post report suggests that scrutiny has been folded into the special counsel office and includes Kushner's business dealings, though it offers no details on what that scrutiny is. Still, the snowballing investigation has deeply angered Trump, who denies he has any nefarious ties to Russian Federation.
A spokesperson for Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, issued a statement saying: "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal". Rosenstein also said that he saw no reason to relieve Mueller from his special counsel duties. An official confirmed to Fox News that Trump was referring to Rosenstein in the statement.
Rosenstein had written to Trump recommending Comey's firing. "Sad!" Trump tweeted at one point. A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment for the Guardian, and a spokesman for Trump's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
The president did not directly address allegations that he is being probed for possibly obstructing justice, a potentially impeachable offense. The transition team was led by Vice President Mike Pence. "Witch Hunt", Trump stated in a Twitter message. Comey testified before the Senate intelligence committee he felt pressured by the White House to drop the investigation. The memo asks for preservation of electronic communications and data, telephone logs, audio recordings, videos, calendars and other items.
Trump has in the past 24 hours written a number of tweets calling the Russian Federation probe a "witch hunt" being carried out by Rosenstein, Mueller and "very bad people".