Special counsel in Russian Federation probe 'hurts country terribly'

"As far as I'm concerned, every investigation conducted by the Department of Justice is an independent investigation", he said.

Trump later told news anchors at the White House that Mueller's appointment was a "very, very negative thing", adding, "I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country".

"Everybody, even my enemies, have said there is no collusion", he maintained.

They included media reports that Trump discussed sensitive intelligence on Islamic State with Russia's foreign minister. But he has been slow to acclimate to new perils - particularly the legal ones - that seem to be mounting.

Rosenstein acknowledged as much, saying in a statement Wednesday that the "public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command".

"James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russian Federation".

He offered new justifications for his decision Thursday, even while referring to the Rosenstein memo as "a very, very strong recommendation".

"Rod was very cautions about answering any of those questions because he said it is possible for the very creation of that Rosenstein memo to be a part of [newly named special prosecutor Robert Mueller's] investigation".

Trump has never been one to shy away from prejudging the outcome of investigations.

THE FACTS: Democrats have not absolved Trump on whether his campaign and Russian officials coordinated efforts a year ago to disadvantage his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Trump has been dismissive of the seriousness of accusations he has made against others, including when he alleged without evidence that President Obama had wiretapped the phones in Trump Tower, an act that would have been illegal.

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.

Democratic lawmakers for weeks have been calling for the appointment of an independent prosecutor to head the investigation, particularly since Trump abruptly fired former FBI chief James Comey last week in the middle of the agency's probe into Russia's involvement in the USA elections and the Kremlin's links with the mogul's presidential campaign.

Republican representatives have grown increasingly anxious since Mr Trump sacked Mr Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe. Trump wrote, ignoring impeachment efforts and blistering verbal attacks on previous presidents and other political leaders.

Trump fired Comey last week.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

A senior White House official said the president has been presented with options for retaining outside counsel in the case. That was the initial point of today's briefing, which was on the books well before the special counsel announcement. "It could well be treated as criminal interference into an investigation".

Burr, chairman of the Senate panel, said of Flynn and his refusal to comply, "We'll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step, if any, is".

"He would be a hard client to serve", Baron said. He said Nixon fired his special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, and as a result, the political fallout was too much for his administration. That's my first rule.

"Some people don't want the story to die, right?"

Many in the steady stream of headlines about the Russian Federation investigation have been generated by Trump himself, making it more challenging for his administration to refocus on policy issues.

Thursday afternoon, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who appointed Mueller, briefed senators behind closed doors. Remember that Republican Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974 with the knowledge that a Democrat-controlled House and Senate would nearly certainly have bounced him from office if given the chance.

Trump sent shockwaves across Washington last week by unceremoniously sacking his FBI director - a virtually unprecedented move that came as James Comey was heading an investigation into Team Trump's links to Russian Federation.

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