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Trump denies asking Comey to drop probe, colluding with Russian Federation

21 Mai 2017

In former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the DOJ appears to have chosen for special Russian Federation counsel a respected figure of integrity, possessed of impeccable credentials, who inspires confidence this investigation will be conducted in thorough, professional and impartial fashion.

Mr Trump responded by once again denying any links to Moscow, but a new Reuters report quoting current and former United States officials said Mr Michael Flynn and other advisers to Mr Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials on at least 18 occasions during the last seven months of the presidential race. "Zero", Trump said, standing next to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who was meeting with Trump at the White House, prompting the presser.

With a special counsel, Congress loses authority in its role in the investigation.

At the press conference, Trump said his administration "look forward to getting all these things behind us". "That gives me confidence and should give the American people some confidence".

Although the meeting was held in a secure room in the Capitol Visitors Center where classified information can be discussed, nothing Mr Rosenstein shared with the senators was "remotely classified", according to one senator who asked for anonymity to speak frankly about the meeting.

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

Why Mr Rosenstein felt compelled to write the memo remains unknown.

"I have made no such determination", Mr. Rosenstein said.

With Trump only eight percent of the way through its term, his advisers spend their days swapping rumours of mass White House firings.

On Wednesday, an investigation into his campaign's ties with Moscow was significantly strengthened by the appointment of straight-shooting former FBI director Robert Mueller to lead it.

Despite initially opposing appointment of an independent counsel, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the development "helps assure people and the Justice Department that they're going to go do their jobs independently and thoroughly, which is what we've called for all along".

But earlier, several lawmakers said Rosenstein told them during a closed Capitol Hill briefing yesterday that Trump made the decision to fire Comey the day before he wrote a memo outlining problems with Comey's handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server.

Combative and complaining, Trump fell short Thursday in trying to resolve investigations into his campaign and his first four months in office.

Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a friend of Comey's, said the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director initially did not want to go to the ceremony two days after Trump was sworn in.

That revelation came after almost the entire complement of the U.S. Senate attended a briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a secure auditorium beneath the Capitol.

Comey's successor He said he would announce Mr Comey's successor "very soon".

"I think it's totally ridiculous".

During the second presidential debate on October 9, Trump said to Clinton, "I hate to say it but, if I win, I am going to instruct my Attorney General to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation".

The briefing was scheduled before Rosenstein signed an order Wednesday naming Mueller to take over an expanding counterintelligence investigation that has roiled Washington for weeks and could lead into the White House, and potentially to criminal charges. But the longer-term consequences will be to continue the political fighting, perhaps even prolong it, and to expand the scope of the controversies under investigation.

Russian Federation has denied US intelligence agencies' conclusion that it interfered in the election campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favour.