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

Pablo Martinez Monsivais  AP

President Donald Trump on Thursday denied ever asking FBI Director James Comey to back off his agency's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, and the role played by former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

According to the Times, both the Trump transition team and the Justice Department became concerned with Flynn's possible ties to the Turkish government after he published an anti-Gulen op-ed in November 2016.

Mr Flynn, a retired general, is under scrutiny in multiple federal investigations into financial links to foreign governments and whether he helped Russian Federation interfere in the presidential election.

But said he respects the decision Wednesday (May 17) by his Justice Department to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel for a probe that has enveloped the White House in a political storm. Comey declined to do so.

The comments are the latest addition to a growing list of White House rationale for Mr Comey's firing.

Donald Trump has responded with a direct - if brief - "No".

Given the frequency with which Flynn and others reportedly communicated with Russian officials, flat denials by the president and his aides suggest either total ignorance of the actions of Trump subordinates or the capacity for bald-face, repeated lies to the American people.

"If the USA administration considers it possible, we are ready to deliver the record of Lavrov and Trump's meeting to the Senate and the Congress of the USA", he said.

"I'd think he'd be a good choice", Graham said.

Ryan supported the White House.

More news: Golden State Warriors overwhelm San Antonio Spurs 136-100 in Game 2

Trump last week fired James Comey from his post as FBI director, explaining that it was partly because of the Russian Federation investigation.

He said Comey turned in a "poor performance" in his most recent testimony to Congress and that Rosenstein had written a "very strong letter" outlining Comey's shortcomings.

Trump continued to assert that there was "no collusion", between his campaign and Russian Federation.

The White House didn't learn of his appointment by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein until 30 minutes before it was publicly announced.

The questions about Trump's conduct were clearly on his mind when he told graduates at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy that "no politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly".

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. He added that he was thinking of the "Russia thing" when he did so.

Trump said the investigation has divided the country and distracted from his agenda.

"Look at all the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, who were saying such awful things about Director Comey", he said.

The Times reported that Comey wrote the memo immediately after meeting with Trump on February 14, one day after Flynn was asked to resign.

And they are anxious to get ahold of Comey's memo.

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