WASHINGTON, U.S. - The Russia probe has swept over the White House and has dissolved all other talk and now, days after U.S. President Donald Trump himself seemed to confirm that he is being investigated - his lawyer has contradicted him.
On Sunday, Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice and the latest addition to Trump’s legal team declared during an interview with CNN that Trump wasn’t the target of an FBI investigation into possible collusion with the Russians.
After coming under harsh criticism for contradicting the President, Sekulow repeated his claim on Monday and said, “As I said all weekend, there has been no notification to any of us that the President is under any investigation and as I said, James Comey has said on three separate occasions that the President is not under investigation.”
Sekulow’s comments came days after Trump tweeted, "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!”
However, Sekulow has now denied that that tweet was a confirmation that he is under investigation.
Sekulow added that because the President had not been notified of any investigation, reports that he is the target of a probe must be false.
Sekulow added, “The president issued that tweet on social media because of the report in the Washington Post from five anonymous sources none of which, of course, anyone knows about, alleging that the president was under investigation in this purported expanded probe. The fact of the matter is the president has not been and is not under investigation. So this was his response, via Twitter, via social media.”
Sekulow even said that he couldn't be sure if the special counsel in the Russia probe, Robert Mueller will be looking into the circumstances around Comey's firing, as the President is able to fire the FBI director per the Constitution.
On being pushed by CNN’s Cuomo, who slammed the lawyer claiming that the special counsel does not have an obligation to inform the president that he is a subject of the probe - Sekulow conceded there is "no duty" for the investigators to notify the White House if Trump is being investigated "in the sense of an obligation to tell."
Adding, “But you know how it works in Washington. If you were a target, if you were being investigated, you would be told really quickly into the investigation."
Meanwhile, Trump’s tweet, that erroneously asserts the probe is being led by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was also thrashed by senior leaders.
The argument was triggered by a recent Washington Post report which claimed that Mueller had expanded the probe to include the President himself.
Meanwhile, the Democratic congressman Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House intelligence committee, said he believed Trump was preparing to discredit Mueller’s findings in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Schiff said rumours about Trump considering firing Mueller and Trump surrogates raising issues about the special counsel’s connections to donors to Democratic causes and campaigns amounted to an attempt to undermine the probe.
He said, “The president wants to take down Bob Mueller, his lawyer wants to take down Bob Mueller and the question is why,” Schiff said. “I think the answer is they want to discredit whatever Bob Mueller comes up with.”
Schiff has previously warned that if Trump does fire Rosenstein or Mueller, it would trigger a constitutional crisis.
On Sunday, he tweeted, “Will take more than some tweets to besmirch Bob Mueller, a Purple Heart and Bronze Medal recipient who has served presidents of both parties.”