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

President Trump says he did not ask Comey to end Flynn investigation

In his first on-camera remarks amid burgeoning scandals engulfing his White House, President Trump denied he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to scuttle an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

"No, no. Next question", he said, speaking at a press conference with the Colombian president.

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

"Believe me - there's no collusion". He added that he was thinking of the "Russia thing" when he did so.

He later reiterated: "There was no collusion, and everybody - even my enemies have said, there is no collusion".

"We'll get rid of the smoke and see where the actual issues lie", said Sen.

Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro told MSNBC's Chris Hayes that if the reports about Comey's memo are true, then Trump obstructed justice and impeachment would be warranted.

"But when I made that decision, I actually thought it would be a bipartisan decision".

"I cherish the Federal Bureau of Investigation". "The FBI has not had that special reputation [after] what happened in the campaign; what happened with respect to the Clinton campaign - and even, you could say, directly or indirectly, with respect to the much more successful Trump campaign".

Trump blasted that decision, echoing his Thursday morning tweets and comments he made over lunch with network news anchors that the Russian Federation investigation is a "witch hunt" that "divides the country". He later said in an interview, that appointment of a special counsel "hurts our country terribly because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country".

Without directly confirming the details of their conversation, Mr Lavrov said he did not understand what the "secret" was, since the United States introduced a ban on laptops on airlines from some Middle Eastern countries two months ago.

The New York Times had recently reported on a memo, allegedly written by Mr Comey, claiming Mr Trump had asked him to drop the investigation during a private meeting at the White House. "I hope you can let this go", referring to the inquiry into Flynn's actions. "He is a good guy". "I hope that we don't inadvertently trip up or damage the independent investigation of the special counsel", he said. Santos is expected to ask Mr. Trump, who is making cuts to foreign aid, to renew funding to support a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

While Rosenstein sharply criticized Comey's handling of the Clinton email server probe in his memo to Trump, the President himself heaped praise on Comey during the campaign for his actions.

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