Trump heads overseas, turmoil in his wake

That revelation came after almost the entire complement of the U.S. Senate attended a briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a secure auditorium beneath the Capitol.

"Director Comey was very unpopular with most people", Trump said Thursday at a White House news conference.

Democrats - and many Republicans - had been eager to hear from Comey after reports emerged this week that Trump may have urged the then-FBI director to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The White House initially cited Rosenstein's recommendation to explain Comey's ouster during an ongoing investigation into potential collusion between Trump's associates and Russian Federation.

Thursday morning, Trump went to Twitter.

Mr Trump has in vain tried to put investigations into his campaign and his first four months in office behind him.

She praised the appointment of Mueller, calling him "a professional" with "a boatload of integrity".

In former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the DOJ appears to have chosen for special Russian Federation counsel a respected figure of integrity, possessed of impeccable credentials, who inspires confidence this investigation will be conducted in thorough, professional and impartial fashion.

"I think so", said Harris, a former prosecutor.

A lengthy probe could "really paralyze Donald Trump's agenda as long as his staff is consumed by this investigation and as long as Bob Mueller is out there toiling away", Graff added. Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri also told reporters that Rosenstein said he'd learned Trump planned to dismiss Comey before writing his memo.

Trump decried the appointment of the special counsel as "the single greatest witch-hunt" in United States history.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly vowed to instruct a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton if he won.

But Mueller's investigation joins ongoing probes of Russian influence by House and Senate committees, including the Senate Intelligence Committee, on which Sen. So poor in fact that I believe, and you'd have to ask him, because I don't like to speak for other people, but I believe that's why the deputy attorney general went out and wrote his very, very strong letter.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday said it's clear that after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein briefed the Senate on the investigation into Russian involvement in the presidential election that it has become a criminal probe.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a former CT attorney general, told reporters, "The special prosecutor is doing an investigation of criminal allegations that are extremely serious, including possible obstruction of justice". I have confidence that he will conduct a fair and thorough investigation. "Consistent with the Committee's position since the beginning of or investigation, I welcome their willingness to cooperate", Burr spokeswoman Rebecca Glover said.

Flynn, through his lawyer, had earlier asked for immunity from "unfair prosecution" in exchange for agreeing to cooperate with the committee. 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.

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