In a perplexing series of Friday-morning tweets, President Donald Trump appeared to confirm that he is under investigation by the FBI and levelled a scathing attack against the officials leading the inquiry.
Hours later, a source close to Mr Trump's outside legal team said Mr Trump did not intend his tweet to be confirmation of the investigation but rather was reacting to a Washington Post story on Wednesday about the probe.
It's yet another tweet that's unleashed intense media speculation... a presidential post of less than 140 characters.
Trump and his White House have offered various explanations for Comey's abrupt ouster, including that he lost the confidence of the bureau's rank and file - a suggestion flatly dismissed by acting director Andrew McCabe. Comey was sacked by the president on May 9 while he was overseeing the investigation into potential Russian interference into last year's election and potential collusion with the Trump presidential campaign.
He also claimed that the person investigating him advised him to fire Comey, though it's unclear whom he was referring to.
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Mr Flynn was forced out in February after he misled the vice-president about his conversations with Russia's ambassador before Mr Trump took office.
Before his dismissal, Comey confirmed the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been investigating alleged Russian government efforts to interfere in the election, including any links between Trump's campaign and Moscow. Former FBI head Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel a day after a report stemming from the notes was published.
Special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional panels are investigating the Russian Federation issue, which has cast a shadow over the early months of Trump's presidency.
Rosenstein earlier this month confirmed he had the ultimate authority to hire or fire Mueller, but said he has been given a wide berth to conduct the probe.
Trump on Thursday blasted news reports that he was under criminal investigation as a "witch hunt" against him led by some "very bad" people.
"Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, "bleached" emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they talk about obstruction?" the president said in a follow up tweet.
United States intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian Federation interfered in the presidential race to try to help Mr Trump win, in part by hacking and releasing emails damaging to his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Trump, who hired his own lawyer last month regarding the probe, kept up his criticism of the investigation.