Days after Donald Trump appeared to confirm that he was under investigation for firing former FBI Director James Comey and being the target of a "witch hunt", a member of his legal team said on Sunday that the US President is not under federal investigation for obstruction of justice.
Appearing on a series of morning news programs, attorney Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, said, "Let me be clear here, the president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction. There is not an investigation of the president of the United States, period."
Earlier on Friday, Trump said he was being investigated for firing former FBI Director James Comey.
"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," Trump said in a tweet.
Sekulow, however, said Trump's tweet from Trump was specifically directed at a "fake" media report with no "documented sources". He was referring to a story in The Washington Post about the expanding probe into Russia’s election meddling.
"The tweet from the president was in response to the five anonymous sources purportedly leaking info to the Washington Post. He's not afraid of the investigation there is no investigation," Sekulow told NBC channel.
"Let me clear. The president's not under investigation, as James Comey said in his testimony, that the president was not the target of investigation on three different occasions," Sekulow told CNN in another interview.
Asked about the possibility that an investigation has since developed and the president just does not know, Sekulow said: “I can’t read people’s minds, but I can tell you this, we have not been notified that there’s an investigation to the president of the United States. So that — nothing has changed in that regard since James Comey’s testimony.”
"The President is not a subject or target of an investigation. That tweet was in response to a "Washington Post" story that ran with five unnamed sources, without identifying the agencies they represented, saying that the special counsel had broadened out his investigation to include the president," he said.
According to the Washington Post report, Trump was being investigated for possible obstruction of justice by Robert Mueller — the special counsel appointed to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
"The president was responding to that particular statement from 'The Washington Post', again with five anonymous sources. And again without even identifying the agencies. So no, the president's not under investigation, has not been," he said.
"So here's what you have: the president issued that tweet, that social media statement, based on a fake report, a report with no documented sources, from "The Washington Post," he said.
Sekulow said it was ironic that a leak would take place by five anonymous sources saying that the special counsel had increased the scope of their investigation without even identifying the agencies upon which those individuals were speaking.
"So the president responds - I want to be crystal clear here. The president's response was as it related to "The Washington Post" report. He cannot in a Twitter statement include all of that in there, but "The Washington Post" statement came out that morning," he said.
"So there can be no confusion. No confusion. The president is not under investigation," Sekulow said.
Trump has denied that he has any nefarious ties to Russia and has also disputed that he’s attempted to block the investigation into his campaign’s possible role in Russia’s election-related hacking. The president has directed some of his frustration at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller.