Senator: Trump Russia investigation appears to be criminal investigation

Politicians from both parties sought to question him about Mr Trump's firing last week of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, which was followed by news that Mr Trump had shared secrets with the Russians and tried to stop Mr Comey from investigating former presidential adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump claimed that the report on Comey's memo was not true.

The President also suggested that the investigation that will now be led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller was also motivated by an attempt to tarnish his election victory a year ago. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Trump would be making a mistake to start a rhetorical war with the new investigator. Mr Mueller will take over the FBI investigation. Mr Trump wrote, ignoring impeachment efforts and blistering verbal attacks on previous presidents and other political leaders.

Further confusing the story, however, Mr Trump cited Mr Rosenstein's memo as a deciding factor in firing Comey during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., also said Rosenstein had declined to provide details of the case, citing "the uniqueness of the investigation". Asked about Mr Trump's tweets, she said the president should "get some thick skin".

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Mr Trump is leaving on Friday for his first foreign trip as US President, which aides hope can have the effect of refocusing a White House in disarray.

"I think it was a mistake", Swecker said on "Squawk Box", a day after Trump said he was the target of a "witch hunt" after the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

During a briefing with news anchors, h e said it "shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not unified country" and is "a very, very negative thing".

Republican Senator Jason Chaffetz also said in a tweet that Mueller was a great selection with "impeccable credentials".

However, Republican representatives have grown increasingly anxious since Mr Trump sacked Mr Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - especially after Mr Comey's associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Mr Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into the Russian ties of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

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