Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

President Trump says special counsel in Russian Federation investigation 'divides the country'

President Trump says special counsel in Russian Federation investigation 'divides the country'

It immediately escalated the legal stakes - and the potential political damage - for a president who has tried to dismiss the matter as partisan witch hunt and a "hoax".

They included Mr Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, reports that Mr Trump had previously pressured Mr Comey to end a probe of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump discussing sensitive information on Islamic State with Russia's foreign minister. "As for Mr. Comey, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation coming before the committee - if I were Mr. Mueller, I would jealously guard the witness pool". John McCain, R-Ariz., said Trump would be making a mistake to start a rhetorical war with the new investigator.

Mr Mueller will have sweeping powers and the authority to prosecute any crimes he uncovers.

"The chairman and I have talked about doubling down, that¹s the message we've conveyed to the staff", Warner said. Democrats were openly accusing Trump of trying to influence the FBI investigation into Russia's meddling for his vested interests.

Trump undercut that timeline in an interview last week, but in a news conference on Thursday, he said he relied on Rosenstein's recommendation to make his decision.

The announcement was made by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi said an independent commission to investigate the Russian Federation matter was still needed to guard against White House interference.

"We have an ongoing FBI investigation with, what I am told, has 125 agents involved, and we have a very credible independent counsel", the congressman said.

Rosenstein gave the impression that recently-appointed special counsel Robert Mueller was treating the investigation as a criminal matter, Graham explained.

In March, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from all matters relating to the presidential election.

Washington- US President Donald Trump criticized on Thursday the appointment of a special counsel to lead the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

"This shuts the whole thing down", said one Republican source, speaking on Congressional efforts to investigate Comey's discussions with Trump.

The White House counsel's office was alerted only after the order appointing Mr Mueller was signed, according to a senior White House official.

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