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

Trump says special counsel appointment 'hurts our country'

Trump says special counsel appointment 'hurts our country'

"The American people deserve to know the facts about Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election, any involvement with the Trump campaign, and any attempt by the President or other officials to improperly influence the Federal Bureau of Investigation", he continued. Burr says the panel's members are not surprised and says, "We'll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step, if any, is".

The Justice Department named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States election and possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

The Justice Department said Mr Mueller, the new special counsel, has been given sweeping power to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, including potential links between Moscow and Trump associates.

While unlikely, Mueller may not be provided with the resources he needs for a thorough probe.

"If your implication is that the White House wants this, I think that's wrong", said Senate judiciary chair Chuck Grassley Wednesday night.

At a press conference later on Thursday, Trump said, "I respect the move but the entire thing is a witch hunt".

"I fully support the decision to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the ongoing investigation into Russian Federation", said U.S. Sen.

The White House had "absolutely no indication" the appointment was coming and was given a heads up less than an hour before it was publicly announced, according to a senior White House official.

The President's adoption of the role of a victim has been a potent political weapon before and he has frequently used it to position himself against the Washington establishment, including the media which he uses as a foil in the absence of an easily identifiable political enemy, like Hillary Clinton. It may also be seen as an attempt to discredit the inquiry before it starts or to prejudge its results.

The President's comment may also conflict with a sound legal strategy, given that he could eventually be called upon to testify to Mueller's probe.

In a written statement late Wednesday, Trump insisted once again that there were no nefarious ties between his campaign and Russian Federation.

On Wednesday, the president predicted that the probe would "confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity".

Republicans have largely stood behind Trump in the first months of his presidency as the FBI and congressional investigations into Russia's election meddling intensified. Lawmakers of both parties sought to question him about Trump's firing last week of FBI Director James Comey, which was followed by news that Trump had shared secrets with the Russians and tried to stop Comey from investigating former presidential adviser Michael Flynn.

Rosenstein's selection of Robert Mueller III to serve as the special counsel was spot on.

US stocks recovered ground on Thursday as upbeat economic data emboldened investors to return to the market, a day after Wall Street saw the biggest selloff in eight months on worries the political turmoil could undermine Trump initiatives such as tax cuts that investors see as favouring economic growth.

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