Trump calls Russian Federation probe political 'witch hunt'

Reuters

President Donald Trump is responding to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 election, calling the Russian Federation probe the "single greatest witch hunt".

Earlier on Thursday, Trump tweeted, "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

The committee said Thursday it sent a letter requesting material from the FBI and Justice Department related to its ongoing counterintelligence investigation.

Mr Comey was abruptly fired last week, in a move that shocked Washington.

Added Polis: "Good first step, but we still need an independent, nonpartisan commission".

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Comey should still appear before congressional committees that have invited him to testify, despite Mueller's appointment. In addition, Comey wrote a memo detailing Trump's comments to him in February saying "I hope you can let this go", referring to the Flynn probe, a source who saw the memo said on Tuesday. 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".

But he expressed more resentment Thursday in his tweets.

Sweden Drops Rape Investigation Into Julian Assange
The 45-year-old Australian computer hacker was wanted in Sweden for questioning over a rape allegation stemming from a 2010 visit. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, told a news conference in Stockholm that she could make no judgment on Assange's guilt or innocence.

Robert Mueller, who was named Wednesday as special counsel in the probe, has worked since 2014 at the law firm Wilmer Hale - which represents Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, as well as former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, reported Politico. He gave no examples.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 18, 2017, for a closed-door meeting with Senators a day after appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the investig. As special counsel, Mueller will be able to [BBC report] issue subpoenas, bring criminal charges, and can prosecute anyone who interferes in his investigation through crimes including perjury, destruction of evidence, obstruction of justice, and intimidation of witnesses. He was so valued that President Barack Obama asked him to stay on two years longer than his 10-year term.

US stocks rallied back on Thursday after seeing their biggest drop in eight months the previous day on worries that the political turmoil could sideline Trump initiatives such as tax cuts that investors see as favoring economic growth.

The president's tweets and comments to the TV anchors drew little reaction from fellow Republicans, who instead joined Democrats in heaping praise on Mueller, a longtime respected lawman who served under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, preceding Comey as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Trump later revealed to NBC News that he thought of Comey as a "showboat" and "grandstander", and felt his inquiry was part of a "made-up story" - contradicting what his top aides had told reporters earlier in the week that the firing had nothing to do with Russian Federation.

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.

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