Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

House committee seeks documents on Trump dealings with Comey

"Naming a special counsel to investigate Russian interference in our 2016 election was absolutely necessary, and former FBI Director Mueller is a very strong choice to help restore confidence in the independence and integrity of the ongoing investigation", said Coons in a statement.

Further confusing the story, however, Mr Trump cited Mr Rosenstein's memo as a deciding factor in firing Comey during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

When asked if he considered the probe, now being led by special counsel Robert Mueller, a "witch hunt", Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) had a simple answer.

Trump says, "we want to bring this country of ours together".

He leapt to make the point again at a joint news conference with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, describing the development as a distraction.

Soon after Mr Mueller's appointment late on Wednesday, Mr Trump said merely, "A thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity".

That's the word from Sen.

He offered new justifications for his decision on Thursday, even while referring to the Rosenstein memo as "a very, very strong recommendation". Durbin said Rosenstein learned on May 8.

Other senators who attended Rosenstein's briefing said that Rosenstein didn't address who asked him to write the memo. News of the special counsel announcement was closely held.

In his earlier twitter posts, Mr Trump decried the naming of Robert Mueller, a respected former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, as a special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, an official he himself appointed.

U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders - along with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch - have been calling for an independent Department of Justice investigation for days, their voices part of a chorus composed mostly of Democratic lawmakers.

Deputy AG tells senators he knew Comey was...

Mr. Rosenstein wrote a memo recommending former FBI Director James B. Comey be fired due to a combination of missteps and a need for new leadership.

An anonymous source told the Post that Rosenstein was upset at the White House for initially saying his memo was the reason Comey was sacked, and threatened to resign if that narrative was not changed.

Repeating his assertion that Comey "was very unpopular with most people", Trump said he was dismissed over inaccurate testimony delivered before Congress as well as his faulty decision making during the presidential campaign.

Melania Trump is accompanying President Donald Trump on his inaugural overseas trip, a four-country, five-stop tour that begins Friday. Two of the countries Trump is set to visit on his first trip overseas are ones where he holds assets - Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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