Critics fear Justice Dept. Deputy Attorney General could be sacked next

The Justice Department's special-counsel investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election is now also reportedly examining whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice.

"He's not afraid of the investigation - there is no investigation", Sekulow said. "Nice", the president tweeted.

Rosenstein was also the author of a letter in May to Trump criticizing the performance of FBI Director James Comey.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel named by the department to investigate the Russian Federation matter, is now examining whether Trump or others sought to obstruct the probe, a person familiar with the inquiry said on Thursday.

Wallace said Trump previously admitted in an NBC News interview that he fired FBI Director James Comey because of the Russian Federation investigation, not because of the recommendation of Rosenstein.

The newspaper reported on Wednesday that director of national intelligence Dan Coats, head of the National Security Agency Mike Rogers, and former deputy director at the NSA Richard Ledgett, had agreed to be interviewed by Mr Mueller's investigators as early as this week.

The president complained the probe is unfair and wondered why his defeated Democratic opponent wasn't getting the same scrutiny.

"Comey may be under investigation".

Tensions are building inside the Justice Department as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein contemplates whether he will become a witness in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA elections.

And as Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) declared in a tweet Thursday, "If Trump fired Mueller (he'd also have to fire Dep AG Rosenstein), it would be an 11 on the Richter scale of #obstructionofjustice". The Post said both men refused the President's request.

"I think it is a consideration the President has had because Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel", Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax Media, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday.

By that afternoon, Trump was re-litigating the 2016 election; "Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russian Federation are not looked at, but my non-dealings are? he tweeted".

Moscow has denied any interference and the White House has denied any collusion. The White House denies any collusion.

The tweet on Friday was the first official confirmation by Trump that he himself is under investigation.

Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel in the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigation that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, wrote in an op-ed column in the Washington Post, "Mueller should be allowed to do his work unhindered and unimpeded".

Yet Trump's angry tweets on Friday underscored the near-impossible challenge his advisers and legal team have in trying to get him to avoid weighing in on an active investigation.

The memo to former transition team members on Thursday also seeks specific information on five people, the Times reported.

The Post reported that FBI agents and federal prosecutors are also looking into the financial dealings of Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign policy adviser Carter Page.

"He brought that recommendation to the President" and Trump agreed, Pence concluded.