Graham believes Russian Federation probe 'considered a criminal investigation'

On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel. "He knew that Comey was going to be removed prior to him writing his memo", she said again. Now, some of what the senators learned was classified, but I think the public takeaway is this detail that Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill shared with reporters. The memo harshly criticized Comey's handling of an investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails.

Durbin added that Rosenstein declined to say who told him to write the memo.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, President Trump described the move as a "witch hunt".

The FBI and Congress are looking into potential links between Mr Trump's campaign team and Russian Federation.

"This entire thing is a witch hunt propagated by a failed political campaign", he tweeted.

The New York Times reported yesterday that Trump called Comey weeks after he took office on January 20 and asked him when federal authorities were going to say Trump was not under investigation. Mr Comey is said to have declined, and only offered his "honesty".

In appointing Mueller, the Justice Department selected a seasoned law enforcement veteran who guided the Federal Bureau of Investigation through the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and led its terror-fighting efforts over the next decade.

"No. No. Next question", Trump told a news conference in the White House, when asked if he "in any way, shape or form" ever urged Comey to end the probe.

Comey has been invited to testify before Congress next week, but his appearance at an open hearing might be in jeopardy due to the appointment of a special counsel, Graham said.

Pat Toomey says he's open to "smoothing" transition for Medicaid changes
The American Health Care Act , recently passed by the House, is now in the Senate where it is expected to undergo many changes. It would also allow states to opt out of coverage of pre-existing conditions and to impose "lifetime caps" on coverage.

Pressure to place the Russia probe in independent hands intensified this week following reports that Trump pressured Comey to reel back the Russia investigation as it pertained to Michael Flynn, the national security advisor who was sacked over concerns about his Russian contacts.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) especially grilled Rosenstein on Sessions's role and the scope of Mueller's new investigation, according to three senators in the room who asked for anonymity to speak frankly about the meeting.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) came out of a Senate-wide briefing Thursday by the US deputy attorney general with the impression that the federal probe into Russia's interference in the USA election has entered criminal territory.

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that when Trump and Comey met earlier in the White House, the president brought up the investigation into former Trump national security advisor Michael T. Flynn, who had resigned over his work for Turkey.

As if the spelling error wasn't bad enough, Trump waited two hours, re-tweeted the exact same message with the proper spelling of "counsel", and then forgot to delete the original mishap for a bit.

Reportedly, Trump was unaware that Rosenstein planned to make the appointment until the formal announcement.

Republicans have largely stood behind Donald Trump in the first months of his presidency as the FBI and congressional investigations into Russia's election meddling intensified.

Associates of Mr Comey has also claimed that the president asked him to pledge his loyalty shortly after taking office.

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