Trump Says He Didn't Ask Comey To Drop The Russia Investigation

"I think that opportunity has been lost, maybe for the greater good".

Mr Robert Mueller, a highly respected former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chief, was appointed by Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday - reportedly with only a half-hour's notice given to the White House.

On Capitol Hill, Comey was clearly the man in demand, with three committees working to seat him at their witness tables soon, two in the Senate and one in the House.

Trump is leaving Friday for his first foreign trip, to the Mideast and beyond, and aides had hoped the disarray at home would have been calmed if not resolved, allowing the White House to refocus and move ahead.

Trump says In a written statement that he looks forward to "this matter concluding quickly".

The rumored front-runner for the position is former Democratic Sen.

Trump reiterated the claim hours later during a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Other advisers joined the discussion, with a goal of presenting the President with a plan for outside legal counsel as the Russian Federation investigation enters a new and potentially perilous phase for the White House.

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

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"There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign - but I can only speak for myself - and the Russians".

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" added Trump.Democrats rejected Trump's characterization."This is a truth hunt", said Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar.Russia has denied US intelligence agencies' conclusion that it interfered in the election campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favor.

House Democrats who have been pressing for a special counsel to examine possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign are welcoming word from the Justice Department that former FBI director Robert Mueller will lead the investigation. Despite the president's furious reaction, some fellow Republicans welcomed Mueller's appointment and expressed hopes it would restore some composure to a capital plunged in chaos.

"We'll get rid of the smoke and see where the actual issues lie", said Sen. Claire McCaskill said that Rosenstein, who has come under scrutiny for being perceived as the inspiration for Trump firing Comey, told the senators that Trump was planning on terminating Comey before the deputy attorney general wrote his letter of recommendation.

Trump undercut that timeline in an interview last week, but in a news conference on Thursday, he said he relied on Rosenstein's recommendation to make his decision. The reports, based on a memo Comey wrote after their conversation, fueled allegations by Democrats that the Republican president may have been trying to obstruct the investigation.

Then he had the very poor performance on Wednesday. Rosenstein said the Mueller appointment was "necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome".

A defiant President Donald Trump has lashed out at what he called "the greatest witch-hunt of a politician in American history" after a special counsel was appointed to oversee the FBI's investigation into Russia's alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

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".

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