I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation.
"I think it's a very, very negative thing", the president added.
It was emblematic of so many other dubious White House denials since he assumed office.
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said Rosenstein did confirm the Department of Justice did not seek the approval of the White House when selecting Mueller to take over the investigation but remained mum on the details as to why Comey was sacked. Rosenstein threatened to resign from the Justice Department because of the explanation that White House officials were giving reporters about the firing, said the person close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Several members leaving the meeting said the deputy attorney general was aware of Comey's pending termination before he penned the letter to Trump.
Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the investigation, Justice Department officials announced on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the investigation has continued and is now criminal in nature, according to senators who were briefed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein yesterday. "I hope you can let this go", the U.S. president was quoted as telling Comey in the report.
Comey's dismissal last week set off a series of jarring developments that culminated on Wednesday in the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to probe possible ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. However the White House said there would be no announcement Friday.
Democratic senators had been prepared to press Mr Rosenstein to take the step of appointing a special prosecutor, but were left praising him instead before his closed-door briefing began.
When asked about the exact timing suggested by Senator Durbin for Rosenstein having learned of Trump's decision to fire Comey, Monday, May 8th, Sen.
"The takeaway I had", said Sen.
Even so, Trump insisted that the memo factored into his decision.
But Mr Trump's claim ignored impeachment efforts and blistering verbal attacks on previous presidents and other political leaders. But he added, "I wrote it".
"Believe me, there's no collusion".
Yet Rosenstein himself in the last week has come under intense criticism as the author of a memo that chastised Comey for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email case, which the White House initially cited as justification for the firing. Rosenstein denounced that as "profoundly wrong and unfair". "The biggest legal change seems to be that Mr. Mueller is going to move forward with the idea of a criminal investigation versus a counterintelligence investigation".
Trump undercut that timeline in an interview last week, but in a news conference on Thursday, he said he relied on Rosenstein's recommendation to make his decision. Wittes interpreted that characterization as a sign that Rosenstein, who has served under Republican and Democratic administrations, could be susceptible to Trump's demands for loyalty.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said after an all-senators briefing from Rosenstein that the deputy attorney general already knew Comey would be fired before he wrote a memo that the Trump administration initially used as justification for ousting the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief. He has said at the point he left government, he had seen no such evidence to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation; but he told lawmakers that as a private citizen, he has no window into any of the ongoing congressional or federal probes.
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