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

Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation

Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation

However, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters after the briefing that "everything he (Rosenstein) said was that you need to treat this investigation as if it may be a criminal investigation".

Trump also said he "respects" the decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation, but he didn't distance himself from his earlier description of the situation as "a witch hunt".

Trump categorically denied he asked Comey to drop his probe of Flynn, whom he fired on February 14 for misleading Vice President Mike Pence, about the extent of his conversations a year ago with Russia's ambassador.

One former Federal Bureau of Investigation official and a second government official said Trump thought he owed Flynn for how things ended up and was determined to clear Flynn's name and bring him back to the White House.

The ceremony occurred in the Blue Room of the White House, where many senior law enforcement officials - including the Secret Service director - had gathered.

US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly briefed senators on Mueller's appointment on Thursday, but refused to give a public statement.

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" added Trump, who said in a speech on Wednesday that "no politician in history" had been treated worse or more unfairly than he has.

"He learned [of] the president's decision to fire him and then he wrote his memo with his rationale", Sen.

"No, no. Next question", Trump said, cutting off a reporter mid-question.

"I don't know more about the firing of Comey and the Russian Federation investigation", Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., told Roll Call leaving the meeting. "He can take care of himself", the Colombian president said.

But he later used the past tense - though he mixed his tenses: "There was no collusion". "And everybody, even my enemies have said, there is no collusion".

The latter appears a reference to comments made by James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence.

"At this point, the Republican Congress is trying to find a way to get to the bottom of the allegations about the ties between members of the Trump Administration and Russia", Dan Mahaffee, senior vice president and director of policy at the Center for the Study of Congress and the Presidency, told Xinhua.

Immediately after the meeting, Mr. Comey returned to his office and wrote a memo which revealed that Mr. Trump asked him "I hope you can let this go".

After one answer on the matter, he said it is important that it be put behind the country so Washington can focus on his domestic agenda.

Lieberman ran as Al Gore's vice presidential nominee in 2000, before he left the Democratic Party and was re-elected to the Senate as an independent.

He joked that some US media were acting like communist newspapers during the Soviet Union and not offering real news.

Later, Santos did not bite when asked about the proposed border wall, saying more diplomatically that the U.S., Colombia and other countries must work together to tamp down production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs.

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