Trump calls naming special counsel 'greatest witch hunt' in

FBI Director James B. Comey appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee May 3 in Washington

This week it was also learned that Comey wrote a memo after a meeting with the president detailing Trump's request to drop his investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a key figure in the Russian Federation affair.

After Comey's firing, Rosenstein initially drew the ire of Democrats on Capitol Hill, but he seemed to have regained some good faith after his appointment of Mueller, a move Democrats had been almost unanimous in supporting.

He said he respected the special counsel appointment but also said it "hurts our country terribly". By Thursday morning, he was tweeting about a witch-hunt. Mr Trump wrote, misspelling the word counsel as he referred to former president Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump claimed on Wednesday that "no politician in history" has been "treated worse" than him.

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

Many Democrats earlier had sharply criticized Rosenstein for writing the memo the Trump White House initially used to justify Comey's firing.

USA stocks recovered ground on Thursday as upbeat economic data emboldened investors to return to the market, a day after Wall Street saw the biggest selloff in eight months on worries the political turmoil could undermine Trump initiatives such as tax cuts that investors see as favoring economic growth.

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Following Rosenstein's testimony, a number of Senators came out to take about what happened in the closed-door meeting.

As for the Russian Federation investigation itself, we were ready and advocated in this space for a special counsel two months ago because we believed Congress had proven itself incapable of the independence necessary for a proper probe.

Mr. Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the Russian Federation investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the role, is an appointee of Mr. Trump, but the White House was unaware of his decision to appoint the special counsel until minutes before the announcement was made. "There has been no collusion", Trump said. A special counsel, by contrast, is an official appointed by the Justice Department and subject, like many other federal criminal investigators and prosecutors, to the Justice Department's supervision and control. "It appears to me now to be considered a criminal investigation", Mr Graham told reporters after Mr Rosenstein briefed all 100 senators on the investigation. Flynn, Trump's fired national security adviser, is a key figure in the Trump-Russia investigation. "Russia's fine", Trump said.

While Mr Mueller is technically still part of the justice department and ultimately reports to Mr Trump, his stature is such that he is unlikely to be cowed by the president.

Initially it was Rosenstein's memo - critical of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal past year - that was put forward as the justification for the dismissal.

Durbin and other lawmakers said Rosenstein did not indicate who in the Trump administration told him to write the memo with the rationale for ousting Comey.

Special counsels are a tricky thing, and should be avoided whenever possible.

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