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

McCaskill: Rosenstein said he knew Comey would be fired before memo

On Thursday, after a briefing with Rosenstein on Capitol Hill, Sen. But I think if McCaskill's account is true, it at the very least further discredits the Trump administration's original claim that Trump acted on the recommendation of the Justice Department to fire Comey. It was also different than the one Rosenstein gave to the U.S. Senate in a closed session a little more than an hour before the president's press conference. McConnell aides wouldn't say whether Rosenstein requested that the briefing be classified or whether he has told Senate leaders that he has classified information to share.

He said, "no, no", before quickly asking for another question - here's his comment on the appointment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Rosenstein's briefing also comes after the decision he made earlier this week to appoint Mueller to be special counsel in the Justice Department's probe of Russian meddling in the United States election and any possible collusion between Moscow and Trump's presidential campaign previous year.

Mueller has served presidents of both parties.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise told reporters that if the special counsel gets to a point where the investigation is interfering, then they will have that conversation.

US senators of both political parties said Thursday that the public's window into federal probes involving Russian Federation and related matters could be constrained now that a special counsel has been appointed to lead the probe.

"There's only so much firing you can do", Krauthammer said. But congressional investigators must take pains not to bump heads with the FBI's inquiry.

Trump later told news anchors at the White House that Mueller's appointment was a "very, very negative thing", adding, "I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country". Just as importantly, if there is nothing there, Mueller is one of the few people that Trump critics would trust.

The winners of such a shift could be congressional Republicans.

"So far, there's been no suggestion that we can not continue to go forward", Scalise told reporters.

"We look forward to getting this whole situation behind us", he said, vowing to focus his administration´s resources instead on creating jobs, strengthening the military and reforming health care. "That is a train wreck waiting to happen". But Sens. Tom Carper and Dick Durbin, both Democrats, and Sen.

"The political reason on the Democratic side is obvious: It's to namely keep this issue going and to keep it ideally going into the 2018 elections and, even more, into the presidential elections of 2020", he said. "Nothing really has changed. The scope of the investigation is still the same".

One striking piece of news emerged from Rosenstein's briefing: He told senators that he had already known Comey was getting fired even as he wrote the memo that Trump cited as a significant justification for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's dismissal. Trump said in a tweet. "This is a criminal investigation, it will take place in secret", she explained. "And the need for former Director Comey to come testify in public soon is as great as ever".

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