Trump calls Russian Federation probe 'witch hunt', denies any collusion

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A day after appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel in the investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein travelled to Capitol Hill to brief the entire Senate on the status of the investigation and what comes next.

After the White House put out a subdued statement on Wednesday night about former FBI Director Robert Mueller being named special counsel, Trump publicly vented on Thursday morning about the new probe.

Rosenstein appointed former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller as the special counsel to investigate any potential links between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Once again, Trump's tweets on Thursday saw him stake out a radical departure from the official White House line on an important issue, a habit that has repeatedly undermined his press operation in recent days, and made it even more hard for his administration to move on from a string of self-imposed crises.

Earlier, the New York Times reported that Mr Trump's administration had been told by Mr Flynn himself - prior to his appointment as national security adviser - that he had contacts with Russian associates.

U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders - along with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch - have been calling for an independent Department of Justice investigation for days, their voices part of a chorus composed mostly of Democratic lawmakers.

The US president has once again denied collusion with Moscow, and says the FBI's investigation is hurting America.

"He believes the scope of Mueller's investigation is so broad with so many questions in so many areas that may or may not lead to criminal prosecution that there were many things he didn't want to comment on", he said. At the time, Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself from the Russian Federation investigations, was busy interviewing candidates to replace ousted FBI director James Comey.

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Police in Northeast Wisconsin are honoring fallen officers as part of National Police Week. He said "attacks on our police are a stain on the fabric of our society".

But that changed on Wednesday evening when Rosenstein announced that he had appointed another former FBI director, Robert Mueller, to conduct an independent investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign.

Rosenstein learned about Trump's plan on May 8, Durbin said.

In a statement, Mueller said: "I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability". "It's now in the hands of the special counsel", said Rubio. Durbin said Rosenstein told senators he wrote the letter giving justification for Comey's firing knowing the plans were already in the works.

"I think we'll have a more hard time getting information here for the intelligence committee", Republican Senator Ron Johnson said.

Zeidenberg says he agrees with the wide array of Congress members who believe appointing the special counsel was the correct move to further the investigation following the firing of FBI director James Comey. "I welcome this development and am glad that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein did the right thing by appointing a special counsel".

Two days later, in a May 11 interview with NBC, Trump contradicted his own spokesmen and said he'd chose to fire Comey "regardless of the recommendation" of Rosenstein.

"No, no. Next question", Trump said, cutting off a reporter mid-question.

That could include evidence the public has wanted to see for a long time.