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19 May 2017, 11:31 | Darnell Patrick
Describing it as a "witch hunt", U.S. President Donald Trump is reacting to the appointment of a special prosecutor to look at his campaign's ties to Russian Federation.
Trump commented late Wednesday after the Justice Department announced the appointment of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller to oversee the probe into Trump-Russian connection in the 2016 election.
President Donald Trump says a thorough investigation will confirm what he says is already known: that there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and any foreign entity.
When asked about whether he pushed Comey, the man he fired earlier in the month, to end the Russian Federation investigation, Trump was firm and quick to reply: "No, no". "And then on top of that, after the Wednesday performance by Director Comey, you had a person come and have to readjust the record, which many people have never seen before, because there were misstatements made".
At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Rosenstein was briefing the Senate about his decision to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the independent Trump-Russia probe.
During the press conference, Mr. Trump responded with a direct "no, no" to a question about whether he asked former FBI Director James Comey to shelf an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. He also said "it is obvious" that some people want to harm Trump.
Trump said he was about to name a replacement for Comey, another move to settle the waters.
Around the same time that Trump was preparing for his press conference, Rosenstein reportedly told the full Senate that Trump had already made a decision to fire Comey before Trump asked him to submit a memo that would amount to reasoning.
Trump once again said he had expected that his sacking of Comey would have gotten strong bipartisan approval, given Comey's public statements about the FBI's probe of Hillary Clinton's emails days before the election.
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Despite initially opposing appointment of an independent counsel, Republican 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".
Trump has repeatedly slammed the FBI and congressional investigations as a "hoax" and blamed disgruntled officials at intelligence agencies for leaking information related to the probes.
Despite the appointment, at least three congressional committees are continuing their investigations, leading to some turf warfare and sniping as the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee both sought to lay claim to testimony from Comey, while the House Oversight Committee also hoped to hear from the former director.
"This was a very good first step".
His appointment, by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, was a striking shift for the justice department, which had resisted increasingly insistent calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor. "Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted". King says, "I'm anxious with all special counsels because there's no control over them and they can abuse their power".
In the 1990s, Democrats insisted that independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who investigated former President Bill Clinton, overstepped his authority.
In a written statement, Trump insisted anew there were no nefarious ties between his campaign and Russian Federation.
The appointment Wednesday comes amid a growing Democratic outcry for someone outside the Justice Department to handle the politically charged investigation.
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