Donald Trump told Michael Flynn to "stay strong" amid growing scandal

Pauline Gross
May 19, 2017

Trump's critics are characterizing Trump's firing of Comey as an attempt at obstruction of justice by the president, with The New York Times writing that "taken together with the news of Mr. Comey's memo and reports that Mr. Trump had tried to extract a loyalty pledge from him after learning about the Flynn investigation, it is hard not to see the outlines of an attempt by Mr. Trump to quash a criminal investigation that could reach into the highest levels of his campaign and administration".

But Mueller and Comey have been longtime allies dating back to at least 2003 when the men both worked in Washington, D.C., Mueller as FBI Director and Comey as Deputy Attorney General.

Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, Trump said no - and then added of the lingering allegations and questions: "I think it's totally ridiculous. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command", he said in a statement. "But we have an obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party is in the White House and that means before rushing to judgment we get all the pertinent information".

In a series of tweets earlier Thursday morning, Trump called the appointment of a special counsel 'the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!'

"Well I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt", he said, insisting there had been "no collusion" between his campaign and Russian Federation. The addition of Robert Mueller as special counsel is consistent with this goal, and I welcome his role at the Department of Justice.

Trump and Lieberman discussed the position at the White House on Wednesday.

Trump said later, however, that he had been thinking about "this Russian Federation thing" when he fired Comey, whom he called a "showboat" and a "grandstander" in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt last Thursday.

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His appointment raises the stakes dramatically on the long-simmering allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election and had connections with members of the Trump campaign.

"This was a very good first step".

The oversight committee chosen by House Speaker Paul Ryan to investigate whether President Donald Trump obstructed an FBI probe has been the most publicly aggressive group involved in the cautious, GOP-led investigations.

These talks escalated after Mr Trump won the election on November 8, the report said.

Comey has since been invited to testify before two Senate committees, and has been asked to turn over his notes of his conversation with the president.

Chaffetz said he has always had strong support from congressional leaders.

"You know what I mean?" Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr indicated at one point that Flynn was resisting the committee's document subpoenas, but later clarified that he hadn't actually heard from Flynn's lawyer to that effect and he would welcome "their willingness to co-operate".

Other reports by GizPress

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