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'Most hounded leader ever' - Donald Trump claims witch hunt over Russia investigation

20 May 2017

When news broke this week of the Comey memo on Trump's alleged interference in the Flynn investigation, Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer said he found it "really stunning that nobody, not even from the White House, has come out under their own name in defense of the president here".

He said it "shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not unified country" and is "a very, very negative thing".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday also stood by a memo he wrote castigating Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe. By several senators' accounts, he contradicted Trump's statements that Rosenstein's written criticism of FBI Director James Comey had been a factor in Comey's recent firing by the president.

Rosenstein did not notify White House Counsel Donald McGahn of Mueller's appointment until Justice Department officials were already briefing reporters, the Post notes. It is special. All over the world, no matter where you go, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is special.

"And he said that ever since, the President had been trying to be chummy in a fashion that Comey felt was created to absorb him into Trump's world - to make him part of the team". Joe Lieberman, former Oklahoma Gov.

In some of the longest exchanges with reporters during a week filled with explosive headlines, including news that Comey had penned a memo documenting the president asking him to stop investigating Flynn, Trump said he thought the decision to fire Comey would be bipartisan, said repeatedly there was "no collusion" between his campaign and Russian Federation, and attempted to spin it as a partisan distraction. On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that James Comey, whom Trump fired as FBI director last week, kept contemporaneous written accounts of his conversations with the president - and that, in one of those encounters, Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn, who advised Trump during the campaign and whose Russian Federation ties are being probed.

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"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!"

"Everybody, even my enemies, have said there is no collusion", he maintained.

However another answer on that subject seemed both more specific and perhaps ambiguous.

"There was no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign - but I can only speak for myself - and the Russians - zero", he said, adding that questions surrounding his campaign were divisive and pulled focus from other problems facing the nation.

But he quickly repeated a morning tweet when he described the entire Russian Federation matter this way: "The entire thing has been a witch hunt".

"Walls work. Just as Israel", Trump said, apparently referring to its West Bank barrier.

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Spicer said in response to the Post report, "as the President has stated before - a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity".

Rosenstein said the Mueller appointment was "necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome". "So, we want to get back and keep on the track that we're on, because the track that we're on is record-setting". "I think it's a very hard challenge and I hope he's going to talk to a lot of smart people".

But Mr. Trump spotted Mr. Comey and called him out.

Given everything we know about and have seen of Donald Trump over the past almost two years as a candidate and now as a president, it seems not only highly plausible, but a near certainty, that Trump would do anything he pleased to discredit or, better yet, end the investigation into him and his allies.

"Oh and there's Jim", Mr. Trump said.

On Wednesday, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel for the investigation into links between Trump's campaign and Russian election hacking.

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Burr, chairman of the Senate panel, said of Flynn and his refusal to comply, "We'll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step, if any, is".