NORC poll: Most in US think Trump meddled in Russia probe

Last week ex-FBI chief James Comey told a separate inquiry by the US Senate Intelligence Committee that he assured Mr Trump he wasn't personally under investigation.

President Donald Trump complained on social media about the wide-ranging investigation of Russian interference in the US election as Robert Mueller appeared to widen his probe to include whether Trump tried to obstruct justice.

Several legal experts told Reuters that Comey's testimony last week that Trump expected loyalty and told Comey he hoped he could drop an investigation of a former top aide could bolster obstruction of justice allegations against Trump.

The special counsel's redirection of efforts came after Comey revealed during his testimony last Thursday that he had deliberately handed over his memos, detailing every interaction that he had with Trump, over to Mueller, his friend of 15 years, because he believed that Mueller would launch an investigation into whether Trump indeed obstructed justice by encouraging Comey to not investigate former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn any further.

Mr Comey also said he had told Mr Trump that he was not under investigation. Trump wrote on Twitter, in a pair of messages that ended with a reference to his campaign slogan "Make America Great Again". "If you're a prosecutor, this is what you dream of-getting on a case like this", says Peter Zeidenberg, who prosecuted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.

"The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Marc Kasowitz, Trump's personal lawyer.

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The Post report cites anonymous sources who were briefed on requests made by investigators. The New York Times also reported the story.

The committee leaders said in a statement that they "look forward to future engagements" with Mr Mueller.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel shortly after Comey's firing.

Also Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said his panel will investigate the removal of former FBI Director James Comey and "any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations".

Grassley announced the investigation in a letter to California Sen. Mark Warner, who is the committee's top Democrat. Mueller's meeting included discussion of his parallel investigations, but a source present at the meeting said the specifics of Mueller's investigation - including whether he's investigating Trump for potential obstruction of justice - was not discussed. Investigators are also considering the conversations Comey and the president had leading up to that point. "It is my view that fully investigating the facts, circumstances, and rationale for Mr. Comey's removal will provide us the opportunity to do that on a cooperative, bipartisan basis", according to the letter. Titled "This story is just another examples [sic] of more illegal leaks coming out of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the investigative process", the section states that "members of the investigative teams are trying to undermine the president".

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