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Trump claims witch hunt, says he's most hounded leader ever
20 May 2017, 02:05 | Darnell Patrick
The Department of Justice threw a curveball into the mix late Wednesday with the announcement that former FBI Director Robert Mueller had been appointed special counsel on the Russian Federation investigation, taking it over from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Democratic senators had been prepared to press Rosenstein Thursday to take the step of appointing a special prosecutor, but were left praising him instead before his closed-door briefing began. In addition to complaining he was being abused in unprecedented ways, he took aim anew at his presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, saying she never faced a special counsel despite "all the illegal acts that took place" in her campaign.
Trump is preparing to leave town Friday on his first foreign trip, and aides have been hopeful the journey will be a chance for the administration to get back on track after weeks of chaos and distractions.
Trump was also asked about his thoughts on the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Muller to lead the probe.
President Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations his campaign collaborated with Russian Federation as Congress confronted an apparent setback in its own probes: A lawyer for Michael Flynn said the fired national security adviser would not provide documents for an intelligence panel's inquiry. Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman was seen as the front-runner.
"Well I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt", he said, insisting there had been "no collusion" between his campaign and Russian Federation. Tim Scott, R-S.C. "I do think that the special prosecutor provides a sense of calm and confidence perhaps for the American people, which is incredibly important".
"No. No. Next question", Trump told a news conference in the White House, when asked if he "in any way, shape or form" ever urged Comey to end the probe.
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Some 350,000 members of the security forces were deployed around the country to protect the election, state television reported. He is a leading expert on Iran and U.S. foreign policy, a businessman and president of the International American Council.
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House Speaker Paul Ryan said the appointment was consistent with his goal of ensuring that "thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead".
He offered new justifications for his decision Thursday, even while referring to the Rosenstein memo as "a very, very strong recommendation".
The New York Timesreported on Thursday that Trump called Comey weeks after he took office on January 20 and asked him when federal authorities were going to say Trump was not under investigation.
Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said Rosenstein told senators that he knew Comey would be fired before he wrote his letter accusing him of missteps as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, including his handling of an election-year probe into Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
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.
The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he was supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings.
The broad federal probe under Mueller, a lawman who engenders deep bipartisan respect, was just getting underway.
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Yates had two in-person meetings and a phone call with White House counsel Don McGahn on January 26 and January 27, respectively. Yates' warning about Flynn in January capped weeks of building concern among top Obama officials, former officials told the AP.
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Draisaitl scored the first playoff hat trick for the Oilers since Bill Guerin and Doug Weight did the deed against Dallas in 2000. And - perhaps even more alarmingly for the Anaheim Ducks - that lead was built without Connor McDavid even registering a point.