Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may step down from Russian Federation probe


Adam Entous, national security reporter for the Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about breaking news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice in the firing of James Comey.

Yesterday, after US President Donald Trump denied obstruction of justice allegations made against him within the investigation into his relationship with Russian Federation and for firing Comey, today (Friday), Trump is painting a different picture.

Rosenstein now has such authority because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself on March 2 after revelations of previously undisclosed meetings with Russia's ambassador to Washington while he was a Trump campaign advisor.

Dianne Feinstein, top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she was "increasingly concerned" that Trump will fire both Mueller and Rosenstein.

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday hired his own lawyer to represent him in the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation.

Trump himself appeared to signal he might favor such an option, posting a Tweet Friday morning before the report taking aim at Rosenstein.

Before the day ended, the White House was hit with the latest in a cascade of headlines relating to the Russian probe: a Washington Post story reporting that Mr Mueller is investigating the finances and business dealings of Mr Jared Kushner, Mr Trump's son-in-law and adviser.

When President Barack Obama entered office, Rosenstein was asked to stay on and served for all eight years of the president's term.

More news: Russia Investigation Just Beginning, Schiff Says
More news: Trump Times: Make America (nyet) Russia Great Again! (Washington Diary)
More news: Shale oil boom to hurt OPEC well into 2018

And he essentially warned Trump that if Mueller were to be fired, Rosenstein wouldn't be the one to do it, saying he saw no "good cause" to consider such a move.

Mr Mueller was appointed special counsel to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion by Mr Trump campaign associates with the Russians, but there has been no indication that Mr Mueller told Mr Trump to fire Mr Comey. The source spoke on condition of anonymity. "I was going to fire Comey", Trump told NBC News' Lester Holt.

The memo from the transition's general counsel directs all staffers and volunteers who worked on the Trump transition to "preserve any written well as any electronic information" related to Russia, Ukraine and any foreign travel by Trump transition members.

"He made a recommendation", he said of Rosenstein.

On Thursday afternoon, Trump sent two tweets attacking his former opponent.

White House spokesman Mark Corallo said: "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".

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. The transition, a nonprofit structurally separate from the Trump campaign, continues to operate with a small staff. And Trump himself took aim at the senior Justice Department official responsible for appointing Mueller, accusing him on Twitter of leading a "Witch Hunt".

Mr Pence's decision to hire Mr Richard Cullen - a veteran of the Iran-contra investigation, Watergate and the 2000 vote recount in Florida - as a private lawyer came less than a month after Mr Trump hired his own private lawyer.