Trump denies urging former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief to drop Flynn inquiry

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

"[Rosenstein] learned that Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo", Sen.

President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that the appointment of a special counsel to lead an FBI investigation into Russian meddling during the presidential election "hurts our country terribly".

Rosenstein, who was confirmed as deputy attorney general less than a month ago, wrote the memo that the Trump White House initially cited as the rationale for Comey's firing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) sits next to retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (left) as they attend an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of RT (Russia Today) television news channel in Moscow, Russia on Dec.10, 2015.

Rosenstein named Mueller, also a former FBI director, to head the agency's investigation Wednesday.

Trump later revealed to NBC News that he thought of Comey as a "showboat" and "grandstander", and felt his inquiry was part of a "made-up story" - contradicting what his top aides had told reporters earlier in the week that the firing had nothing to do with Russian Federation.

"He appointed Mueller because he was cognizant enough to understand whether or not he thought he could be fair in the investigation was irrelevant", said Steven Silverman, a Baltimore attorney who has known Rosenstein for years.

White House Republicans and Democrats alike welcomed the appointment of Mueller, who is leaving a position with WilmerHale law firm to take on the role of special counsel. 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 cooperate". One part of the Senate SCIF is large enough to hold all 100 senators, a senior aide said.

"I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead", said Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

But why Rosenstein's briefing needed to happen in a room designed for classified briefings is still unclear.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio also spoke to the press following Rosenstein's testimony but did not say much on Rosenstein's testimony. While Rosenstein sharply criticized Comey's handling of the Clinton email server probe in his memo to Trump, the President himself heaped praise on Comey during the campaign for his actions.

That appointment will impede congressional committees' ability to conduct their own investigations, said Graham.

But according to a person close to the White House, Rosenstein was upset about the narrative that emerged from the White House the evening of May 9. However, shortly before the news conference began, Rosenstein informed the Senate that he knew Comey would be fired even before he had penned his recommendation.

In a statement, Rosenstein said he chose to hand off the high-profile investigation to an independent investigator, "in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome". The day after the Flynn conversation [between Trump and Comey], Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, asked Mr. Comey to help push back on reports in the news media that Mr. Trump's associates had been in contact with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign.

The president's comments come as he deals with backlash from firing Comey last week and subsequent reports that raised questions about whether he might have tried to interfere with an investigation.

Recommended News

  • JCB machines co-star in latest

    JCB machines co-star in latest "Alien: Covenant" movie

    This just so happens to be the same planet on which chaos reigned in Prometheus , so we know horrors await the unsuspecting crew. It's a limitation but Scott, as the original Alien and his recent The Martian show, is a great storyteller.
    Real Madrid, Barca set up final day title showdown

    Real Madrid, Barca set up final day title showdown

    Montenegro forward Stevan Jovetic was arguably the best player for Sevilla , scoring a goal and nearly scoring several more. Both teams have played each other in the European Cup Final of 1997-98, when Real Madrid won 1-0.
    Ransomware Attack Hits Businesses Across The World

    Ransomware Attack Hits Businesses Across The World

    WannaCry brought to the front numerous issues we, security professionals have been highlighting for considerable time. Finally, if you do not have one already, this would be a good time to develop a cybersecurity incident response plan.
  • Microsoft Criticizes Government Creation of Hacking Tools

    Asked what the company is doing to prevent such exploitations, he cited "basic IT security blocking and tackling". Microsoft noted the massive damage caused by the leaked cybersecurity vulnerabilities that governments held.

    White House offers muted response on Comey memo

    It takes a majority of the House to impeach a president and a two-thirds vote of the Senate to remove him from office. Asked if he trusted Comey or Trump, Amash replied: "I think it's pretty clear I have confidence in Director Comey".
    Alexa wants to show you things - Amazon unveils its touchscreen Echo device

    Alexa wants to show you things - Amazon unveils its touchscreen Echo device

    We'll have a lot to say about the newest Amazon Echo in the coming weeks, including publishing a review. Note that if you click on one of these links to buy the product, IGN may get a share of the sale.
  • Android, iOS: Google Assistant arrives in French this summer!

    Android, iOS: Google Assistant arrives in French this summer!

    According to the company, the service will "roll out over the next few weeks" to all Android devices running the Google Play app. Google has also said that it will be looking at lowering the required minimum software version to Android 5.0 (Lollipop).
    With tension rising, Predators host Ducks in Game 3

    With tension rising, Predators host Ducks in Game 3

    With a minute left in the first, Vatanen fired a rocket past Rinne for a power-play goal to slice the Ducks' deficit to 2-1. Game 2 was another tight, low-scoring game, but the ice was clearly tilted Pittsburgh's way in the third period.
    Won't allow `special` Kane to leave, says Tottenham manager

    Won't allow `special` Kane to leave, says Tottenham manager

    Carragher said on Sky Sports . "It is a season again where he fights to be the top scorer in the Premier League". The quartet of Kane, Dele Alli , Son and Christian Eriksen have scored 86 of Spurs 110 total goals this season.
  • Highlights of Tuesday's NBA game

    Highlights of Tuesday's NBA game

    "That was a huge pickup for us, obviously, with Andre out". "We've got to come out from the beginning with a sense of urgency". The Warriors bounced back in a major way in the third quarter and cut the Spurs lead 78-73 dunk by Durant with 4:27 remaining.
    Terry Finley enters Preakness confident in Always Dreaming

    Terry Finley enters Preakness confident in Always Dreaming

    After Wednesday afternoon's draw for post positions, the Kentucky Derby victor remains a strong favorite among the 10 contenders. He may work out the ideal stalking trip and save ground racing behind front runners Conquest Mo Money and Always Dreaming .
    Always Dreaming, Classic Empire become 'neighbors' for Preakness Stakes

    Always Dreaming, Classic Empire become 'neighbors' for Preakness Stakes

    Lookin at Lee had a dream trip along the rail in the Kentucky Derby, resulting in a second place finish at odds of 33 to 1. Velazquez deftly got outside of pacesetter State of Honor in the Derby, turning into the backstretch to be in the clear.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.