President Trump salutes a Marine as he walks off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House last week. (Michael Reynolds/EPA).
A member of President Trump’s legal team said Sunday that Trump is not under investigation by the special counsel, an assessment at odds with a Washington Post report last week and seemingly with a tweet by Trump himself on Friday.
“Let me be very clear here, as it has been since the beginning, the president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction,” lawyer Jay Sekulow said on “Meet the Press.”
The Post reported last week that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who was appointed to oversee the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice.
On Twitter Friday, Trump wrote as part of a tweet about the probe that “I am being investigated.”
“The president is not under investigation by the special counsel,” Sekulow told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “The tweet from the president was in response to the five anonymous sources that were purportedly leaking information to The Washington Post about a potential investigation of the president.”
Sekulow cited congressional testimony by fired FBI Director James B. Comey that he had told Trump on several occasions that Trump was not personally under investigations. Those conversations, however, occurred before Comey was fired and before the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.
The Post story cited five people briefed on the interview requests, who said that the current director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, head of the National Security Agency, Mike Rogers, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators.
The five people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.