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The federal probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives has expanded to include a current White House official, the Washington Post reports.
A senior White House adviser—described by the Post as someone “close to the president”—is reportedly one of the subjects of the investigation, according to sources familiar with the probe. This is in addition to former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, who were previously identified as subjects of the investigation.
The news comes after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special prosecutor to oversee the Department of Justice’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination with Trump aides.
Last week, Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, in part because, “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” It was previously reported that Trump had asked for Comey’s “loyalty” and pressed the former FBI director to drop the investigation into Flynn, whom Trump describes as a “good guy.”
Friday, the New York Times reported Trump boasted about firing Comey to the Russian ambassador and Russian foreign minister during a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office last week.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I,” Trump said, according to an official White House document summarizing that meeting. “He was crazy, a real nut job… I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Trump also reportedly revealed highly classified information to those Russian officials during that meeting.