The Washington Post reports that Mueller has expanded that investigation to examine whether the president committed obstruction of justice. | AP Photo

President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at reports that special prosecutor Robert Mueller is investigating him for obstruction of justice, suggesting that such allegations have been cooked up to replace accusations that his campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election.

“They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice,” Trump wrote Thursday morning on Twitter. In a subsequent post, Trump attacked those investigating him, calling them “very bad and conflicted people,” although he did not specify whether he was referring to the congressional probes into his 2016 campaign or the special counsel’s investigation.

“You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA,” Trump wrote.

The pair of posts marked a dramatic shift in tone from the president, who spent Wednesday in a unifying mode following a shooting at a GOP congressional baseball practice in Virginia. The gunman, who was killed in an exchange of fire with U.S. Capitol Police, left five people injured, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

In televised remarks delivered from the White House Diplomatic Room, Trump said that “we do well in times like these to remember everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country.” Hours later, The Washington Post reported that Mueller, tasked with leading an independent Russia investigation, had expanded that investigation to examine whether the president committed obstruction of justice.

Mueller’s probe reportedly includes not only Trump’s conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, in which the president allegedly asked Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, but also interactions between Trump and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers.

According to the Post report, the investigation into whether Trump sought to obstruct justice began shortly after he fired Comey, in line with private assurances that the former FBI director offered to the president that he was not under investigation at the time.

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SOURCE: Politico, Louis Nelson

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