Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump Alleges 'Witch Hunt', Denies Trying To Kill FBI Probe

Trump Alleges 'Witch Hunt', Denies Trying To Kill FBI Probe

"Did you at any time urge former FBI director James Comey in any way shape or form to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn?".

"The entire thing has been a witch hunt", Trump said during a press conference in the East Room of the White House.

"There was no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign - but I can only speak for myself - and the Russians - zero", he said, adding that questions surrounding his campaign were divisive and pulled focus from other problems facing the nation. "I think it divides the country".

He went on to sharply criticize the investigation into his campaign's possible collusion with Russian officials to influence the US election.

The Justice Department recently appointed a special prosecutor to head the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

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"He has not shared these secrets with us", Russian-state news agency Interfax reported him as saying.

According to associates of Trump, the president has become mistrustful of many around him amid a spate of leaks about West Wing dysfunction.

Trump's complaints that he was being subjected to an unprecedented "witch hunt" ignored history, given that President Bill Clinton was investigated by an independent counsel, Ken Starr, in a probe that resulted in Clinton's impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Also, as Democrats and some Republicans said Trump's sudden dismissal of Comey last week looked like an attempt to shut down the Russian Federation investigation, Trump also defended the move - saying he had done a bad job at the FBI.

It later emerged that Comey had made notes of his meetings with Trump, who reportedly asked him to quash an investigation into Flynn's contacts with foreign governments.

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Congressional committees in the House and the Senate are also conducting investigations. Then Collins wondered whether the Justice Department's appointment of Robert S.


In 2011, he was asked by Democratic president Barack Obama to stay on for two more years. "Mr. Rosenstein has done the right thing", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said Thursday on the Senate floor.

The Times reported Trump is likely going to select a personal lawyer to defend him against the accusations that he and his campaign allegedly colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election season. That's what the deputy told senators in a briefing Thursday, they said after a closed-door briefing with Rosenstein on Thursday.

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. Mr Comey, a diligent and generally well-respected Federal Bureau of Investigation director during his tenure, was known to write memos and disseminate them to his friends and allies in and out of the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he encountered situations that he thought were inappropriate. That was the White House's position initially after the deputy attorney general argued in a memo that Comey had erred in handling the FBI's investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server, even though Trump had praised Comey on the campaign trail previous year.

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

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