Trump denies ever urging Comey to back off Flynn investigation

Kevin Lamarque  Reuters
President Trump met Tuesday with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the world's leading jailer of journalists

Kevin Lamarque Reuters President Trump met Tuesday with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the world's leading jailer of journalists

Donald Trump has refuted the claims made by a media report that he had asked sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey to quash the agency's investigation into ties between his former national security adviser Mike Flynn and Russian Federation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday mocked USA news reports suggesting President Donald Trump inappropriately shared sensitive intelligence with him about terror threats involving laptops on aeroplanes. He denied this as well. Comey reportedly wrote in a memo about a meeting with Trump that the president said to Comey of the Flynn investigation, "I hope you can let this go".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who on Wednesday made the surprise decision to appoint former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller as special counsel in the Russian probe, yesterday directly contradicted Trump's claim that his memo outlining Comey's failings was a reason for Comey's ouster last week.

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Without directly confirming the details of their conversation, Lavrov said he didn't understand what the "secret" was, since the U.S. introduced a ban on laptops on airlines from some Middle Eastern countries two months ago. He also highlighted the "very, very strong recommendation" he got from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"I think it is totally ridiculous", Trump said.

"I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country".

Microsoft says NSA to blame for Wannacry
An promotional video plays behind a window reflecting a nearby building at the Microsoft office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. In 2016, thousands of computers in 42 separate NHS trusts in England were reported to be still running on Windows XP.

A self-described friend of Comey's wrote in a public blog post on Thursday that Comey had told him that he had rebuffed a Trump request for loyalty by promising only honesty.

"I respect the decision, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt", the President said, adding there was no collusion between himself or his campaign with the Russians.

"I thought it [Comey firing] would be a bipartisan decision", Trump said, citing Democrats who had called for his ousting. It cited two people briefed on the call.

With those words from Peter Baker of The New York Times, the East Room of the White House grew quiet, but for the shutter clicks of the cameras.

The Daily Beast also reports that some of Trump's advisers have assured him that he "absolutely should not" consider giving Flynn another role in the White House.

Asked about possible obstruction of justice, Republican House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan told reporters the special counsel would "follow the facts where ever they may lead" and that "it is premature to prejudge anything at this point".

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