The Trump campaign is denying one aspect of the latest anonymously sourced report from The Washington Post published Thursday. The report said that the Trump administration is seeking every recourse to undermine the investigation into Russian collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Trump previously warned special counsel Robert Mueller during a New York Times to not expand the Russian investigation into his family's finances. The special counsel responded Thursday by doing exactly what he was warned not to do.
The report said the administration is also "building a case" to prove that Mueller has too many conflicts of interest to properly run the investigation. Under Justice Department rules, this could be used to justify the firing of a special counsel, something that many have speculated President Donald Trump is seeking.
According to one source, the Post reported, Trump has also asked his advisers if he has the power to pardon his family members, his aides and even himself. Another source said his lawyers were considering the possibility among themselves.
Early Friday, Jay Sekulow, the lawyer for Trump, denied the report saying, "Pardons are not being discussed and are not on the table," according to Major Garrett of CBS.
The question of possible conflicts of interest of Mueller have been constantly brought up by defenders of the president, including Fox News' Sean Hannity, who demanded Mueller be investigated.
"It gives you a sense of how much detail and time and attention the president and his team are spending on this vis-a-vis the rest of their agenda," CNN's Jeff Zeleny reported. "This has in many respects consumed a lot of his schedule, a lot of his time. And they are having these conversations. We have heard it speaking with officials who are familiar with this as well."
"But the red line is so interesting," Zeleny added, "because in the interview last evening, the president was asked if the family finances, if that's what Robert Mueller started looking into, would that cross a red line, and the president said it would. But the question is, 'Well, then what?'"
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 21, 2017
Some see the president's angry criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions as more evidence that he is considering firing Mueller, as he blames the naming of the special counsel on Sessions recusing himself from the investigations into the alleged Russian meddling and collusion.
Mueller has been criticized by allies of the president for hiring allegedly left-wing members to his legal team, while others claim that the special counsel's friendship with former FBI Director James Comey is a conflict of interest.