Trump assails naming of counsel as 'witch hunt'

President Donald Trump followed by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos arrives for their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington Thursday May 18 2017

President Donald Trump on Thursday described the appointment of a special counsel to probe his links with Russian Federation as "the single greatest witch hunt" in U.S. history.

"No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly", Trump said in a commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump said Thursday he thinks the appointment of special counsel for the Russian Federation investigation is bad for the United States.

"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration, there was never a special councel appointed", Trump said in another tweet.

The memo, on the heels of Trump's abrupt firing of Comey last week, fueled accusations by lawmakers of possible obstruction of justice and calls for an independent prosecutor to oversee the FBI's ongoing counterintelligence probe into possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the presidential campaign.

Current provisions allow the attorney general (or acting attorney general, in this case) to appoint a special counsel-the favoured terminology today-when there is a conflict of interest or other "extraordinary circumstances", and when it's in the public interest to do so.

His reaction differed from Wednesday when he was quoted in a White House statement as saying: "I look forward to this matter concluding quickly".

In closed-door meetings with lawmakers on Thursday and Friday, Rosenstein said he wrote the memo after Trump told him one day before the May 9 firing that he wanted to dismiss Comey.

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"President Trump interfering with an ongoing FBI investigation is an abuse of power", Congressman Kildee said.

Trump claimed that the report on Comey's memo was not true. This morning he's tweeting exactly that.

The appointment of the special counsel indicates other believe that's still open to question.

Trump is leaving Friday for his first foreign trip, to the Mideast and beyond, which aides hope can have the effect of refocusing a White House in disarray. The special counsel prepares a confidential report explaining the decision whether or not to proceed with charges and presents it to the attorney general, who notifies Congress of the conclusion.

Mr Mueller's appointment was hailed by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, who view him as one of the most credible law enforcement officials in the country. He called it the "single greatest witch hunt".

Rosenstein, who at his confirmation hearing would not commit to a special counsel appointment and who inherited the probe following Sessions' recusal, seemed to acknowledge the public outcry by calling Mueller's selection "necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome". Mueller's appointment enjoys political protections that are quite strong and have already proven themselves in this matter.

In an interview with Lester Hold of NBC, two days after firing Comey, Trump said he was going to fire Comey regardless of the recommendation and was thinking of the "Russia thing".

Republican Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Flynn's lawyer told the committee he would not honor the panel's subpoena seeking relevant documents. "I commend the Justice Department and the Administration for taking action to restore the trust of the American people and clear the air on this issue so we can return our focus to reforming our broken tax code, growing our economy, and rebuilding our military to ensure the safety and security of our nation".

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