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Trump claims unearned exoneration on Russia

19 May 2017, 10:14 | Darin Griffith

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), emerging on Capitol Hill from a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller on Wednesday, cast the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and possible Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation as far more serious. Trump aides initially pointed to a memo written by Rosenstein that had been critical of a number of Comey actions prior to Trump coming into office.

Mr Rosenstein's disclosure seems to confirm Mr Trump's version of the story - that he had made up his mind to fire Mr Comey before the Justice Department wrote their memos about him.

He said Rosenstein didn't tell lawmakers who told him to write the memo with the rationale for ousting Comey.

The deputy AG also briefed senators on his appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to take over the Trump-Russia investigation.

President Donald Trump says that the appointment of a special counsel for the ongoing investigation into his campaign's ties to Russian Federation "divides the country".

His mandate extends beyond any specific Trump-Russia connection to cover "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

"This entire thing is a witch hunt propagated by a failed political campaign", he tweeted.

Staff also said the reason for the firing was Mr Comey's handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email servers.

Mr Trump strongly disagreed, saying the appointment "hurts our country terribly".

Mueller, one of the longest-serving Federal Bureau of Investigation directors who served with distinction and without scandal, manages to fit into that category, Hurl said. Daria said that he won't be reporting to Attorney General Jeff Sessions because he's already recused himself from any investigation relating to the presidential campaign.

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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.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced Wednesday that former FBI Director Robert Mueller will oversee the probe.

After Mueller's appointment, those in charge of the congressional investigations have shown no signs that they intend to abandon them - though Senator Cornyn, speaking to reporters on Thursday, echoed Graham and said he wouldn't want the congressional investigation to "impede" Mueller's.

"He needs to testify under oath and in public", the senator, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said.

He later reposted the same tweet, after correcting his misspelling of the word "counsel".

Blumenthal said, "The setting (for the Rosenstein briefing) is completely inadequate". While Trump can not impede the investigation by firing Mueller - as he did to FBI Director James Comey - he does have the power to fire DOJ employee Rosenstein.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for an autonomous commission outside the umbrella of the Justice Department, such as the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, which was created by Congress to investigate the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Early in the day, a seething Trump took to Twitter to blast the appointment, which shook Washington and sent world stock markets tumbling.

Mr Comey succeeded him, having been appointed by Mr Obama.



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