Jay Sekulow, a lawyer who is part of a team hired by Trump to deal with allegations of collusion by his campaign with Moscow, appeared to contradict Trump's statement on Twitter on Friday that he was being investigated for firing his Federal Bureau of Investigation director last month.
The new line from the Trump administration is a breezy "what investigation?" flick of the wrist to bat away questions about the reported expansion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe to include not just Russian election meddling and Trump's ties to any such effort, but also possible obstruction of justice by the president.
Republican Marco Rubio, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee - which is carrying out one of two core congressional investigations into Russia's alleged election interference - said that the president would be wise to let the investigation to proceed unhindered. "There is not an investigation of the president of the United States, period", said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice.
But on Friday, Trump appeared to confirm a report in the Washington Post revealing that he was under investigation for possible obstruction of justice as part of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.
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Just last weekend, Trump used his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., to hold a fundraising event for MacArthur that netted $800,000. As was the case in the House, moderates and hardline conservatives are trying to push the bill in opposite directions.
"It is in the best interest of the president and the country to have a full investigation", Rubio said, adding that it was not a "witch hunt" as Trump suggested in several tweets. And I think the answer is they want to lay the foundation to discredit whatever Bob Mueller comes up with. "That the president was not and is not a target of investigation".
"You're right, Chris. I can not read the mind of the special prosecutor", Sekulow responded.
The president has denied that he has any nefarious ties to Russian Federation and has also disputed that he's attempted to block the investigation into his campaign's possible role in Russia's election-related hacking.
Pressed on the issue by host Chris Wallace, Sekulow acknowledged that he could not be certain.
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And it kept going on and on like this until finally Wallace figuratively threw his hands in the air, responding to Sekulow saying there's no investigation after saying he didn't know if there was one.
Donald Trump himself has confirmed that he is under investigation. "The response from the president, using social media, was about that story", he said. "He can not in a Twitter statement include all of that in there, but "The Washington Post" statement came out that morning", he said. "But the president, as James Comey said in his testimony [to a Senate committee earlier this month] and as we know as of today, the president has not been and is not under investigation".
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, defended Mueller and his team, noting that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have praised his appointment. "I don't think it serves him well". Trump's tweet, however, used only 111 characters and Trump has not been shy about using multiple tweets to convey a singular message. "They are essentially engaging in a scorched earth litigation strategy that is beginning with trying to discredit the prosecutor", Schiff said on ABC. "We're agreed, then", Wallace said.
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