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Trump decries 'witch-hunt' after special counsel picked for probe

19 Mai 2017

"After a week of startling revelations that raised serious doubts about both the President's conduct and the willingness of Congressional Republicans to properly investigate it, I am very encouraged to see the Justice Department take the step of appointing a special counsel".

Mueller was appointed Wednesday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had faced criticism as the author of a memo that preceded Comey's firing. Senators plan to question Rosenstein about Comey's firing when the deputy attorney general testifies on Thursday in a closed hearing.

Asked if he urged Mr Comey at a February meeting to drop his probe of the Russian Federation connections of Mr Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, the president said: "No. No". That's less likely with a special counsel under current law than it was under the old independent-counsel statute, and it's a trap that Mueller seems unlikely to fall into.

Mr Trump later tweeted: "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed!"

The remarks echo sentiments conveyed by Trump in a pair of tweets Thursday morning.

And the third question will be whether anyone in the administration, up to and including President Donald Trump, illegally tried to interfere with investigations into the alleged meddling and collusion.

"Well, I respect the move but the entire thing has been a witch hunt", Trump said when asked about the investigation.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar responded, "This is a truth hunt".

The White House isn't releasing a comprehensive itinerary for Mrs. Trump, citing security concerns.

"We are living a very big moment right now".

As Graham indicates in the next clip, he has not confirmed that this is a criminal probe, but "it is my takeaway" that Congress needs to treat this "as if it may be a criminal investigation".

Rosenstein briefed USA senators on Thursday, but made no public comments.

He said now that it has become a criminal investigation instead of an counterintelligence probe Congress may be impeded in carrying out its own examinations.

Brimming with resentment, President Donald Trump fervently denied on Thursday that his campaign had collaborated with Russian Federation or that he'd tried to kill an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of the issue, contending that "even my enemies" recognize his innocence and declaring himself the most unfairly hounded president in history.

"That was a poor, poor performance", Trump said.

The appointment won Rosenstein wide praise from Republicans and Democrats. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen.

Some snarkers also noted Trump appears not to be aware of the four presidents who were assassinated, though he frequently talks about Lincoln, so you'd think he'd know about that one at least. Claire McCaskill. She addressed reporters after a closed-door meeting where Rosenstein briefed senators. He was sacked as national security adviser in February after it emerged he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations with Russia's ambassador to Washington in December.

The Senate intelligence committee also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to turn over any notes Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the election.

Trump decries 'witch-hunt' after special counsel picked for probe