WASHINGTON — President Trump acknowledged publicly for the first time Friday that he is under investigation in the expanding inquiry into Russian influence in the election and appeared to attack the integrity of the Justice Department official in charge of leading it.
In an early-morning tweet, the president declared that he is “being investigated” for his decision to fire James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director. And he appeared to accuse Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, of leading a “witch hunt.”
"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt"
The tweet was the first explicit acknowledgment by the president that Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel for the Russia inquiry, has begun examining whether Mr. Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey last month was an attempt to obstruct the investigation.
And Mr. Trump’s apparent reference to Mr. Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from it, came just hours after an oddly-worded statement from Mr. Rosenstein complaining about leaks in the case.