U.S.

Trump reportedly asked Comey to consider imprisoning members of the press

Trump reportedly asked Comey to consider imprisoning members of the press

"Everybody thinks so. And again, we have to get back to working our country properly so that we can take care of the problems that we have".

A memo reportedly penned by Comey after a February meeting with Trump suggested the president had asked him to halt a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's ties to Russian Federation.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied USA claims that it interfered in the presidential vote, calling such allegations absurd.

Appointing a special counsel could briefly calm the waters, temporarily cooling the partisan tensions.

The President also described Comey as "very unpopular with most people", and said he was surprised that there wasn't bipartisan support for Comey's ouster.

Ryan said Congress needs to get the facts, but "it is obvious there are some people out there who want to harm the president".

Asked whether he urged Comey to ease up on the Flynn investigation, Trump said at a news conference, "No, no", before ordering the media to move on to the "next question".




"The entire thing has been a witch hunt", he declared, echoing one of the tweets he'd sent out just after dawn: "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

The White House vigorously denied it all.

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.

The selection is subject to Senate confirmation, and several leading senators from both parties have said they wanted the president to avoid picking anyone with a political background as the nation's top law enforcement official.

The president repeated his denial of involvement with Russia during Thursday's press conference, saying, "There's been no collusion between certainly myself - and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself - and the Russians". "While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn", a White House statement said.

Mr Trump on Thursday piled onto his mounting reasons for firing Mr Comey, mentioning his "very poor performance" at a recent Senate hearing, and the FBI's declining reputation. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Rosenstein would be questioned about a letter he wrote accusing Comey of missteps as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, including his handling of an election-year probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.


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