'No. No. Next question': Trump's terse Federal Bureau of Investigation denial

"Director Comey was very unpopular with most people", Mr Trump claimed, adding that he thought his firing would be a "bipartisan decision".

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said after an all-senators briefing from Rosenstein that the deputy attorney general already knew Comey would be fired before he wrote a memo that the Trump administration initially used as justification for ousting the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief. Republicans on Capitol Hill hoped the same, reasoning that the appointment of a special counsel could free them to work on a major tax overhaul and other matters without constant distractions.

"I think Joe Lieberman is a pillar of credibility".

But calmness seemed far off.

President Donald Trump is holding a press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Thursday afternoon.

Did he in fact collude with Russian Federation in his campaign to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton?

He later reiterated: "There was no collusion, and everybody - even my enemies have said, there is no collusion".

However another answer on that subject seemed both more specific and perhaps ambiguous.

"There's no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign - but I can only speak for myself - and the Russians".

He said he respected the special counsel appointment but also said it "hurts our country terribly".

FBI investigators reportedly discovered multiple contacts that are a cause for concern including Paul Manafort, former Trump Campaign Chairman, Carter Page, former Foreign Policy Advisor and Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor.

"If the president gives his word to the American people or to legislatures or to a foreign power, then everyone on every level has to know that he means what he says, and he says what he means", said Rick Tyler, former adviser to Ted Cruz's presidential campaign and former spokesman for Newt Gingrich.

Trump is leaving town Friday on his first foreign trip, and aides have been hopeful the journey will be a chance for the administration to get back on track after weeks of chaos and distractions.

The logic here doesn't quite follow, given the special counsel wasn't appointed by Democrats; it was named by his deputy attorney general.

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". "Because you look at all of the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, that were saying such bad things about Director Comey", Trump said.

US President Donald Trump has denied all allegations that he tried to pressure fired FBI Director James Comey into dropping a Russia-related probe, and called the appointment of a special counsel to probe claims of his collusion with Russian Federation a "witch hunt".

Burr, chairman of the Senate panel, said of Flynn and his refusal to comply, "We'll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step, if any, is".

A key issue Mueller may have to tackle is whether Trump has committed obstruction of justice, an offence that could be used in any effort in Congress to impeach him and remove him from office.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he is supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings.

Two days after Trump became president, Comey attended a ceremony that Trump hosted honoring law enforcement officials and tried to blend in with the curtains to avoid being noticed by the president, according to a report by The New York Times.

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