Trump denies asking Comey to drop probe, decries 'witch hunt'

Trump asked ex-FBI director James Comey to stop investigating Flynn’s Russia ties reports

As president, Donald Trump has the ability to declassify any classified information.

"When people elected the president, they knew they were electing somebody different because they wanted things to change in Washington, and I think he has unique potential to bring change to the system and voters knew what they were doing", Blunt said.

"If in fact what was in the memo is true, it's very concerning, and we need to get to the bottom of that", Republican Adam Kinzinger, a member of the House of Representative Foreign Affairs Committee, said on CNN.

"We look forward to getting this whole situation behind us", he said, vowing to focus his administration's resources instead on creating jobs, strengthening the military and reforming health care.

Unimpressed, Rep. Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on a key House oversight panel, said, "Speaker Ryan has shown he has zero, zero, zero appetite for any investigation of Donald Trump".

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which is among those probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, called Putin's offer "quite amusing".

The Comey memo's emergence had congressional Democrats suggesting that the president engaged in obstruction of justice, an impeachable offense.

The White House disputed Comey's account of the February conversation concerning Flynn, but did not offer specifics. "I have made no such determination", Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement.

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White House aides mostly kept a rare low profile, avoiding going on television.

So far, no evidence of collusion has been presented, but the question has consumed the first four months of Trump's presidency and spurred multiple crises that have left the White House shell-shocked.

The controversy spooked investors, but Trump delivered a defiant message, complaining during a speech that he was being treated more unfairly than any other politician ever. "You can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams". "I'm sure we're going to go on to hear from Mr. Comey about why, if this happened as he allegedly describes, why didn't he take action at the time?".

The New York Times alleged in an article published Monday evening that Trump had provided classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as well as Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a closed-door meeting with the two officials last Wednesday at the White House.

"You have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight", President Trump said. "And we'll see where the facts lead". "Or they do understand everything, and that means that they are risky and unscrupulous".

The news conference had been originally scheduled to discuss the Republican agenda on Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday, the Republican chairman of a House oversight committee, Jason Chaffetz, set a May 24 deadline for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to produce all relevant material relating to any communications between Comey and Trump. It also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to give the committee any notes Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the election. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said panel members were also inviting Comey to testify at an undetermined date. They expect to bring in Comey in to testify, as well.

If Vladimir Putin sticks to his word and releases his copy of the transcript from the meeting, pressure could mount that forces the Trump administration to release their copy of the same meeting.

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