President Donald Trump appeared to confirm Friday that he is under investigation for obstruction of justice, claiming that he is being investigated for firing FBI Director James Comey by the man who told him to do it.
"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," the president wrote in his tweet.
Special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional panels are investigating the Russia issue, which has cast a shadow over the early months of Trump's presidency. The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that Mueller is investigating the Republican president for possible obstruction of justice.
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow interfered in last year's presidential campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favor. Moscow has denied any interference and the White House has denied any collusion. Trump has repeatedly complained about the probe, saying Democrats cannot accept his election win.
Trump, who hired his own lawyer last month to represent him regarding probes by the special counsel and congressional committees, continued his harsh criticism of the investigations in series of tweets on Friday. "After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my ‘collusion with the Russians,' nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!" he wrote in one post.
Pence hired Richard Cullen, chairman of law firm McGuireWoods, to help him respond to inquiries from Mueller, a spokesman said. Cullen is a former federal prosecutor who has long ties to former FBI Director James Comey. Trump fired Comey on May 9.
Pence had been looking at hiring his own counsel for several weeks, and made his decision earlier this week after interviewing several candidates, his office said. The Washington Post first reported the Cullen hire. Pence had taken over the transition team from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Pence has seldom addressed the Russia issue, which has overshadowed Trump's efforts to overhaul the healthcare system, cut taxes and boost jobs - priorities that Pence has worked on intensively with Republican lawmakers.
The memo to former transition team members on Thursday also seeks specific information on five people, the Times reported, They include Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager; Rick Gates, Manafort's business partner; Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser; former national security adviser Michael Flynn; and Roger J. Stone Jr., an informal adviser to Mr. Trump. Flynn, who was forced out in February, is a subject in investigations by intelligence committees in the House and Senate, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.