Former asst. special counsel: Don't expect public updates

US POLITICS

Pressed on whether he asked Comey to quash an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's foreign contacts, Trump grew testy.

BENNETT: Well, we know from some reporting that Rosenstein wasn't happy about having to shoulder the blame for Comey's firing when the White House initially used his memo as a pretext for it.

This news fire hose, a result of errors forced and unforced for Trump, can have consequences - for the president, for his party and the country.

Mr Trump himself had already contradicted that explanation, telling interviewers earlier he had already chose to dismiss Mr Comey.

Senators met with Robert Mueller, who was named special counsel in an investigation involving Russia's meddling in the election of President Donald Trump, on Thursday.

In Rosenstein's meetings with lawmakers, he reiterated the scathing critique laid out in his memo concerning Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, including Comey's July news conference announcing that the FBI would not recommend charges.

And Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, who had been considered a contender for FBI director but removed himself from the running, said he thought senators were taking the investigation "enormously seriously". "Zero", he said at a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

The appointment of Mueller, who headed the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2001-2013, was announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who has authority over the Russian Federation probe due to the decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself because of his role in the Trump campaign.

He said he respected the special counsel appointment but also said it "hurts our country terribly".

The rumored front-runner for the position is former Democratic Sen.

Democrats rejected Trump's characterisation.

More news: Toure wants clarity over City future

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar responded, "This is a truth hunt".

U.S. intelligence suspect that Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated a sweeping campaign to tilt last November´s vote in the Republican´s favor.

Mr Trump categorically denied he asked Mr Comey to drop his probe of Mr Flynn, whom he fired on Feb 14 for misleading Vice-President Mike Pence, about the extent of his conversations past year with Russia's ambassador.

"I am concerned that Director Mueller will still be subject to the supervision of the Trump administration leadership at the Justice Department", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters Thursday.

US senators of both political parties said Thursday that the public's window into federal probes involving Russian Federation and related matters could be constrained now that a special counsel has been appointed to lead the probe. "So poor in fact that, I believe - and you'd have to ask him, because I don't like to speak for other people - but I believe that's why the deputy attorney general went out and wrote his very, very strong letter", Trump said.

On Thursday, after a briefing with Rosenstein on Capitol Hill, Sen. "I have made no such determination", Rosenstein said.

"My takeaway is everything he said is you have to treat this as if it's a criminal investigation", Graham said.

But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Trump fired Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - and after Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into Flynn's Russian Federation ties. The White House pointed to this recommendation as the reason that Mr. Trump made a decision to fire Mr. Comey, although Mr. Trump later said in an interview that he had already chose to fire Mr. Comey after taking office.

And the president is also meeting at the Vatican with the pope, someone who said a year ago that Trump is "not Christian" if he's talking about building walls. It cited two people briefed on the call.

Comey was then fired by Trump as the investigation continued. The move has received praise from both Republicans and Democrats. I have confidence that he will conduct a fair and thorough investigation.

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