Trump Denies Asking Ex-FBI Director Comey to Drop Flynn Inquiry

"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".

At the news conference, the president also reiterated his claim that the US Justice Department's decision to appoint a special counsel to look into possible collusion with Russia was "a witch hunt", saying he had never colluded with the Russians.

The series of bombshell allegations has left Trump aides dazed and wondering about the future of his young presidency.

US President Donald Trump defended his firing of FBI Director James Comey and said he did not ask Comey to end his probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank, said Lieberman lacks law enforcement experience and is too close to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former USA senator.

In his earlier Twitter posts, Trump criticized the naming of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, an official he himself appointed.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) thinks the probe into ties with Russian Federation and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign has flat-out become a criminal investigation.

The meeting came after a week of White House chaos in which Trump also was accused of divulging classified information during a White House visit by Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the United States.

But several Democratic senators said during a caucus lunch Thursday that they would not support Lieberman, according to a person familiar with the meeting who declined to be identified because the lunch was private. Then it took more than a month for the panel to announce its first public hearing after Conaway took over the investigation: an open hearing with former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan on May 23 to discuss matters "related to Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign". "I think the biggest legal change seems to be that Mr. Mueller is going to proceed forward with the idea of a criminal investigation versus a counterintelligence investigation". "He did acknowledge that he learned Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo", McCaskill told reporters. One of the attendees, speaking on condition of anonymity, described Rosenstein as anxious and nervous and said he drank multiple glasses of water "and spilled one". A day after the memo came out, Trump also said he'd previously made that decision.

Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and founder of the popular Lawfare blog, admitted that he was the principal source for a story in The New York Times this Friday.

"Director Comey was very unpopular with most people".

Justice Department officials said Mueller would likely conduct his investigation nearly entirely independent of Congress. The White House pointed to this recommendation as the reason that Mr. Trump chose to fire Mr. Comey, although Mr. Trump later said in an interview that he had already made a decision to fire Mr. Comey after taking office. "There is no collusion - certainly myself and my campaign - but I can always speak for myself and the Russians - zero", he said at a joint press conference with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos. It cited two people briefed on the call.

But Mr. Trump spotted Mr. Comey and called him out. Republicans on Capitol Hill hoped the same, reasoning that the appointment of a special counsel could free them to work on a major tax overhaul and other matters without constant distractions.

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