Trump acknowledges for first time he's under investigation

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The focus on Rosenstein sharpened Friday because the President attacked the deputy attorney general in a tweet, blaming him for what he terms a "witch hunt". But soon after the abrupt termination, Trump told NBC News that he had been going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendations. But Trump, as president, has the authority to fire Rosenstein, a career justice department civil servant who has worked under five presidents.

He said: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!"

During an interview with CNN Money, Stone, a close ally and longtime adviser of Donald Trump blasted the investigation into alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russians calling it a wasteful "witch hunt".

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, insisting that it does not meddle in the affairs of other countries.

While accusing the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration of indulging in illegal acts, Trump had said that "there was never a special counsel appointed to oversee the acts of his Democrat predecessors". Trump fired Comey in May. But then Trump's legal team denied that the president's tweet was a confirmation that is under investigation.

Mr Trump, who is due to give a speech in Miami on Friday where he is expected to announce a shift in United States policy towards Cuba, also boasted about his deployment of social media, despite warnings by legal experts that his tweets may be used against him in the ongoing investigation. Mr Rosenstein wrote a memo criticising former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey's handling of the email server scandal that was initially used by the White House to justify the firing of Mr Comey.

In another tweet earlier Friday, Trump writes, "After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my 'collusion with the Russians, ' nobody has been able to show any proof".

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Trump was under investigation for obstruction of justice, citing unnamed officials.

Mueller's office has informed a range of officials they 'have a duty to preserve any physical and electronic records that may be related in any way to the subject matter of the pending investigations, ' the New York Times reported, quoting from a memo from the transition team counsel's office. "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people!"

If Rosenstein recuses himself, Brand, a Trump appointee, would become the top Justice official overseeing Mueller's work.

Everything about Manafort screams "shady operator", and his closeness to the president is of obvious concern to the White House, which has gone to hilarious lengths to distance itself from him.

"It's basically all he talks about on the phone", said one adviser.

He's been advised of the legal ramifications from making these presidential statements on Twitter, but he and at least a few advisers have come to believe the political fight is more urgent.

The transition official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss post-election decisions publicly.

Friday's tweets have taken other aides across the White House by surprise.

If that is the case, it could be part of what appears to be a pattern of statements that are meant to back the president.