President Donald Trump is reportedly being investigated for obstruction of justice by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team.
Unidentified officials told The Washington Post that Mueller's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election has now widened to include Trump himself.
The investigation into obstruction of justice reportedly began soon after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating possible Trump-Russia ties, on May 9.
Investigators are reportedly analyzing statements made by Trump, publicly and privately, to non-government people about firing Comey, and Trump's worries about the Russia investigation and other related probes.
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According to officials, investigators are also checking to see if there is any evidence that Trump associates committed any financial crimes.
Five unidentified sources told The Washington Post that Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, Rogers' former deputy, Richard Ledgett, and Daniel Coats, director of national intelligence, have all agreed to speak to Mueller’s investigators.
Only the NSA would comment on the situation by saying it would "fully cooperate with the special counsel."
The White House referred questions to Marc Kasowitz, Trump's personal lawyer. Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Kasowitz, stated: "The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal."
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The New York Times reports that Trump recently considered firing Mueller, but members of Trump's staff talked him out of it.
Unidentified sources told The New York Times that Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, and Donald F. McGahn II, White House counsel, told Trump not to fire Mueller.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told journalists on June 13: "While the president has every right to [fire Mueller] he has no intention to do so."
However, people close to the president said that he may change his mind given his volatile personality.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, told a Senate committee on June 13: "As long as I’m in this position, [Mueller is] not going to be fired without good cause. I’m not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders."
Rosenstein said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions "actually does not know what we’re investigating," and added: "Director Mueller is going to have the full independence he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately."
Christopher Ruddy, a friend of Trump's who owns conservative news site Newsmax, said on June 12 that Trump was considering firing Mueller.
Ruddy has reportedly told his friends that he made the public statement to discourage Trump from axing Mueller.