U.S.

Russia Investigation Is Witch Hunt That 'Hurts The Country'

Russia Investigation Is Witch Hunt That 'Hurts The Country'

The Justice Department says 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.

Comey attempted to make clear the limits of the FBI's and the White House's relationship and maintain his bureau's independence, which he believed was under threat since the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign's alleged connections to Russian Federation.

U.S. President Donald Trump waits to greet Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos in the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., May 18, 2017.

Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Russian officials about the "great pressure" he was under, another U.S. official defended the president to the Times, suggesting that Trump's goal was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions on certain issues.

The New York Times published a report Thursday detailing the strained relationship between former F.B.I director James Comey and narcissistic toddler President Donald Trump and painting a pretty clear picture of Trump's attempt to wheedle his way into Comey's affections.

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

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!", Trump tweeted Thursday. Trump wrote, his anger boiling over.

Since Comey's firing on May 9, the calls for Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel have intensified, especially from Democratic lawmakers who believe he can longer be impartial in the Russian Federation investigation, given his role in the firing. The FBI's counterterror mission was elevated in those years, as the USA intelligence agencies adjusted to better position America to prevent another attack of such magnitude. At the center of the political firestorm are Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his one-time campaign manager Paul Manafort, and their multiple undisclosed contacts with Russian officials during and after the vote.

Rosenstein made it clear to the lawmakers that he drafted his memo only after Trump told him of his plans to dismiss the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Trump's embattled presidency, which has invited increasingly frequent comparison with Richard Nixon and Watergate, passed a new landmark at the press conference when he was asked bluntly, in front of a foreign head of state, whether he recalled anything he had done that "might be worthy of criminal charges in these investigation or impeachment".




But before the reporter had the chance to finish his question, Trump interrupted him with an assertive "no" and said "next question".

Did he urge Comey at a February meeting to drop his probe of the Russian Federation connections of Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn? "We can go back to dealing with legislative matters that affect the American people".

"I believe Mueller will be independent, he will be thorough and he will be fair and he's not going to be easily swayed", said Elijah Cummings of Maryland, top Democrat on the oversight panel.

Other interactions between the White House and Comey illustrate what The Times depicted as an uncomfortable relationship between the two entities. Others are already considering leaving, and allies due to join the administration say they are holding off.

Financial markets recovered somewhat Thursday following a sharp downturn a day earlier after news broke of the special counsel's appointment.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told Congress overnight he stands by a memo he wrote bluntly criticising Comey.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer called the president's rhetoric part of his deal-making. "You can't be responding to every leak", said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who also urged the president to stop tweeting.

"It's always nice to have less drama", he said.

"These are the kind of investigations where you need full-time people doing a full-time job", he said.


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