Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Naming Special Counsel Is 'Very, Very Negative Thing' For National Unity

Naming Special Counsel Is 'Very, Very Negative Thing' For National Unity

"I think Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein responded to the extent he thought appropriate within the context of the investigations that are ongoing", he said.

Rosenstein, according to his a copy of his prepared remarks at a briefing before the US House of Representatives, said that he learned on May 8 that Trump meant to fire Comey and that Trump sought Rosenstein's "advice and input" that same day.

Special counsel appointed in Russian Federation.

"He did acknowledge that he knew Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo", Sen. Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman was seen as the front-runner.

Trump said he was about to name a replacement for Comey, another effort to settle the waters.

Mueller's appointment has come as Trump fends off reports he shared USA secrets with Russian officials in the Oval Office, and had asked Comey to drop his investigation into former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn.

But even without specifics, he said, the briefing was "sobering".

He added: "The entire thing has been a witch hunt".

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" added Trump.

Johnson said his biggest concern was that the special counsel's probe would be "never ending".

At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Rosenstein was briefing the Senate about his decision to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the independent Trump-Russia probe. Despite the president's furious reaction, some fellow Republicans welcomed Mueller's appointment and expressed hopes it would restore some composure to a capital plunged in chaos.

"We don't want to do anything to get in the way", said Texas Republican John Cornyn, who serves as majority whip. He told senators he had already known Mr Comey was getting fired even as he wrote the memo Mr Trump cited as a significant justification for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's dismissal.

But Trump himself has already said that he was going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendation by the Justice Department.

Rosenstein was originally invited by the two Senate leaders, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Democrat Chuck Schumer of NY, to explain Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

In a pair of morning tweets and at a later news conference, Trump described calls for his impeachment as "ridiculous" and said he had done nothing to warrant criminal charges.

"You can start a special investigation that's more narrow and the further you go, the more people you talk to, and the more documents you obtain, then it becomes broader".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller capped a dizzying week of news bombshells relating to the Trump administration and the Russian Federation investigation.Mueller has served under presidents of both parties, and both Democrats and Republicans in Congress spoke highly of the decision to hire him after the announcement was made. And House and Senate investigators had invited Comey back to Congress to explain what happened - although Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz declared on Twitter that he had trouble finding Comey to invite him to testify to the oversight committee he chairs.

The Post says the revelation comes as the investigation appears to be entering a more open and active phase, with investigators conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas.

Muir asked the president what he'll say to leaders around the world on his first foreign trip who are watching the headlines here in the United States and how he'll answer when asked if he supports the idea of a special counsel and if he was surprised by the move.

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