Former FBI head appointed to oversee Trump-Russia probe

Former FBI head appointed to oversee Trump-Russia probe

At the start of another roller-coaster week in Washington, Trump was accused of divulging highly sensitive classified information gleaned by Israeli spies to visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Trump fired Comey on May 9.

"Our job is to get the facts", he said.

The embattled president has a love-hate history when it comes to leaks.

Trump later told news anchors at the White House that Mueller's appointment was a "very, very negative thing", adding: "I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country".

Ryan said that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has "appropriately" requested the Comey memo. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan stuck to that line and told reporters on Wednesday he still has confidence in Trump.

"Personally, just from what I know right now, it's being made a bigger deal than what it is", said Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Georgia, who said that the president has not committed an obstruction of justice.

It also asked the White House to provide records of interactions with Comey, including those "relating to the FBI's investigation of alleged ties between President Trump's associates and Russian Federation, or the Clinton email investigation, including all audio recordings, transcripts, notes, summaries, or memoranda", according to a statement.

Russia has repeatedly said that Trump's opponents are trying to damage him and Moscow by making what it says are false accusations about the billionaire president and the Russian government which initially had high hopes of a rapprochement.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said late Tuesday that the developments had reached "a point where it's of Watergate size and scale".

The Wisconsin Republican was asked on his way out of a news conference whether he still had confidence in Trump, and he responded, "I do".

It would be significant if more Republicans began to talk about impeaching the president, as the party holds a majority in both chambers of Congress. At their news conference, Ryan and other House Republican leaders talked about National Police Week and their plans to overhaul the US tax code before reporters raised questions about the Trump controversies.

Under current U.S. law, the president has the power to declassify information as he or she sees fit. But the controversy got even hotter on Tuesday when multiple news outlets, citing a memo written by Comey, reported that Trump had asked Comey to back off on the FBI's investigation of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

A self-described friend of Comey's wrote in a public blog post yesterday that Comey had told him that he had rebuffed a Trump request for loyalty by promising only honesty.

Israeli intelligence agents were concerned that information given to Russian Federation could be passed on to Iran, it reported.

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called Mueller "a fine US attorney, a great Federal Bureau of Investigation director and there's no better person who could be asked to perform this function".

Asked by reporters whether he thought the allegations against Trump were grounds for impeachment, Republican Representative Justin Amash said, "If the allegations are true, yes".

The comments attributed to President Trump cross a unsafe line. It also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to give the committee any notes Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the election.

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