Donald Trump is not under investigation despite the president’s own tweet earlier this week saying he was under investigation, the president’s personal lawyer said in an interview on Sunday.
Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump’s team of personal lawyers as he faces the probe into his campaign’s alleged ties with Russia, said on Meet the Press that Trump is not under investigation by the Justice Department. There had been widespread reports that the independent investigation had recently expanded to look into whether the president committed obstruction of justice by firing FBI Director James Comey.
And earlier this week, Donald Trump himself had tweeted that he was under investigation. His legal team is now disputing that assertion.
“Let me be clear here,” Sekulow said (via The Hill). “The president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction.”
Sekulow added that Donald Trump’s tweet — which read, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director” — should not be taken literally.
“The tweet from the president was in response to the five anonymous sources purportedly leaking info to the Washington Post,” Sekulow said. “He’s not afraid of the investigation — there is no investigation.”
Sekulow’s full answer can be seen below.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow struggled to explain to Chuck Todd why the president said he was under investigation if he isn't. pic.twitter.com/uwDxaLeMFJ— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 18, 2017
This is not the first time that Donald Trump has contradicted his own team. Immediately after James Comey was fired, the White House press team denied that it was connected to the Russia investigation and claimed that the decision was made because Comey mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
But days later, Donald Trump admitted that the Russia probe did play a role in Comey’s firing.
“When I decided to [fire Comey], I said to myself, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story,” Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt.
Later, in a meeting with Russian ambassadors in the White House, Trump further admitted that the investigation played a role in Comey’s firing.
“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said in a transcript of the meeting published in the New York Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Despite Donald Trump’s tweet this week saying he was under investigation, there is still no official word on whether he is a target, and confirmation likely won’t be coming. Since taking over as leader of the investigation, Robert Mueller has vowed to work quietly and has reportedly taken efforts to crack down on leaks.
[Featured Image by Olivier Doulieryl/Pool/Getty Images]