A heightened sense of unease gripped the White House on Thursday, as President Donald Trump lashed out at reports that he’s under scrutiny over whether he obstructed justice, aides repeatedly deflected questions about the probe and Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged hiring a private lawyer to handle fallout from investigations into Russian election meddling.
Pence’s decision to hire Richard Cullen, a Richmond, Virginia-based lawyer who previously served as a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, came less than a month after Trump hired his own private lawyer.
The hiring of Cullen, whom an aide said Pence was paying for himself, was made public a day after The Washington Post reported that special counsel Robert Mueller III was widening his investigation to examine whether the president attempted to obstruct justice.
A defiant Trump at multiple points Thursday expressed his frustration with reports about that development, tweeting that he is the subject of “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history.”
Trump fired off several more tweets in the afternoon voicing disbelief that he was under scrutiny while his “crooked” Democratic opponent in last year’s election, Hillary Clinton, escaped prosecution in relation to her use of a private email server while secretary of state.