White house says Trump did not order attorney general to end Mueller probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump did not order U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the federal criminal probe into Russian activities in the 2016 election.

“It’s not an order. It’s the president’s opinion,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a news briefing when asked about the president’s Twitter posts.

She denied that Trump was obstructing the probe. “He’s fighting back,” she said. Sessions recused himself from the investigation and his deputy Rod Rosenstein is the person with the authority to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Grant McCool

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