Jay Sekulow, a lawyer on Donald Trump’s legal team, made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows to walk back the president’s Friday tweet that seemed to confirm he was under investigation for possible obstruction of justice by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“The president is not a subject or target of an investigation,” Sekulow said on CNN.
“The tweet from the president was in response to the five anonymous sources that were purportedly leaking information to The Washington Post about a potential investigation of the president,” Sekulow told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”
Sekulow mentioned former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony earlier this month before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had told Trump on at least three occasions that the president was not personally a subject of the probe into Russia election meddling and the Trump campaign.
However, Comey has not been involved in the investigation since he was fired last month and the Justice Department named Robert Mueller as a special counsel to head up the Russia investigation which appears to be widening its scope.
On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace pressed Sekulow on that point. “You don’t know that he’s not under investigation, right?” Wallace asked.
“You’re right, Chris. I cannot read the mind of the special prosecutor,” Sekulow responded.
In a story published Thursday, five individuals familiar with the matter told the Post that Mueller’s investigation had expanded to include an inquiry into Trump for possible obstruction of justice — a move that came days after Trump abruptly fired Comey on May 9.
On Friday, the president issued a tweet that seemed to confirm the Washington Post report.
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
Sekulow scrambled to respond to questions about the inaccuracy of Trump’s tweet that seemed to corroborate a Post report he called inaccurate.
“It’s 141 characters — there’s a limitation on Twitter,” Sekulow told CNN. “This is a president that has utilized social media, that has revolutionized the whole concept of electioneering when it comes to the use of social media.”
For its part, the Post is not backing down on its reporting. “We stand by our story, which President Trump confirmed Friday in a tweet acknowledging he is under investigation for obstruction of justice,” Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said on Sunday.