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Trump slams Comey, once more dismisses Russia probe as "witch hunt"

19 May 2017

"But Donald Trump created many of these problems for himself".

Rosenstein named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate the baseless allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to interfere in the 2016 election.

The week offered a preview of how the distractions for the White House, combined with Trump's disdain for scripted protocols, could leave the president ill-prepared for his debut overseas.

"My priority has been to ensure thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead", Mr Ryan said. "We're talking more likely years than months".

"They will govern with constant fear of bombshell news being around the corner", said Julian Zelizer, a history professor at Princeton University.

Moreover, unlike other enemies Trump has railed against - even some within his own party - Mueller will be harder to defeat in a pure political or public relations context. He did not inform the White House about the appointment until after it had been made.

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The Washington Post has reported that former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last week, noted in a personal memo that Trump had asked him to let the Michael Flynn probe go. In a brazen warning to Comey, Trump suggested he may have tapes of their conversations. The below-ground facilities in the Capitol Visitors Center - one on the House side, one on the Senate side - are primarily used by national security committees to receive updates on classified or sensitive matters from top government officials, who regularly visit the Capitol to meet with lawmakers.

Don't expect to hear much once the investigation gets started, Daria warned. "But any investigation must include possible obstruction of justice by POTUS".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a critic of Trump's inside the GOP, said the Rosenstein briefing led him to believe the nature of the Russian Federation investigation had changed, from one examining how far Russian Federation had meddled in the election to whether any USA citizens were part of the effort.

"He wanted to make it out as media and Democratic warfare", Brinkley said. "It appears to me now to be considered a criminal investigation", Graham said.

For most of President Barack Obama's term, Trump was principal cheerleader for the "birther" movement, claiming Obama was not born in the United States.

"I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt", Trump responded during his first press conference since Rosenstein named former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the probe. Still, he is not subject to the day-to-day supervision of the Justice Department. He was impeached by the House, but acquitted by the Senate. "It's all the pressures of life in the White House with this weight hanging over you that could bring untold trauma at any point", she said.

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Leahy said he knew Mueller well from his Federal Bureau of Investigation oversight work on the Senate Judiciary Committee when Mueller ran the agency between 2001 and 2013.

Since Comey's firing on May 9, the calls for Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel have intensified, especially from Democratic lawmakers who believe he can longer be impartial in the Russian Federation investigation, given his role in the firing.

Asked if he pressured Comey to halt the Flynn probe, Trump said: "No, no". The stakes are huge.

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".

The president answered that he believed it was harmful. Before taking "significant" actions, however, the special counsel must notify the attorney general.

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The summit, the site says, "will renew Saudi Arabia and US commitments to global security, business, cultural & political ties". This episode is short but sweet-and a good overview of the key issues on the agenda during Trump's first foreign foray.