Trump allegedly discussed witnesses' interactions with special counsel

Donald Trump

But that New York Times story, plus a Washington Post scoop about an apparent attempt to build a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin, provide more evidence that Mueller is conducting a broad, deep and significant investigation.

Trump brought up Priebus' October interview with the special counsel's office, the people said, and Priebus replied that the investigators were courteous and professional. Worse yet, the article indicates that Trump tried to get White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II to deny what he had told Mueller's team - that the president had once asked him to fire Mueller.

The New York Times reported Wednesday night that Mueller had learned of two conversations in which Trump asked key witnesses - one of them Priebus - about their discussions with investigators.

A second source said the president simply asked Priebus how he was treated and whether investigators were "nice" to him.

Given the fact Trump has called the Russian investigation "witch hunt" one more than one occasion and has repeatedly denied the allegations of collusion, these revelations has raised concerns about possible witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Mueller also has been investigating whether the president has attempted to obstruct the probe, including whether he fired former FBI Director James Comey to undermine it.

- President Trump is upset with White House press secretary Sarah Sanders over her responses Wednesday regarding his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, a source close to the White House tells CNN.

Mr. Trump moved on, pointing out that Mr. McGahn had never told him that he was going to resign over the order to fire the special counsel. CBS News has also requested a comment from the White House. But it also highlights the mounting tensions between Trump and McGahn, whose job as White House counsel has grown increasingly untenable as the Russian Federation investigation has snowballed.

The Times cited "three people familiar with the encounters" in its report.

These interactions (depending on how you interpret the McGahn conversation) may not be illegal, but they raise serious questions.

In addition to Comey's firing, the special counsel is also looking into Trump's role in crafting an initially misleading statement his son, Donald Trump Jr., released previous year in response to reports that he met with two Russian lobbyists offering dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in June 2016, at the height of the election.

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