Trump says he did not ask Comey to end investigation

A number of lawmakers exited the meeting stressing that Mueller's probe, while appropriately diving in to all possible Trump-Russia ties, may make it more hard for current congressional investigations to access vital intelligence.

Graham said he thinks "Congress' ability to conduct investigations of all things Russian Federation has been severely limited, probably in an appropriate fashion".

Trump has denounced the FBI investigation as a witch hunt and a charade, and said Wednesday that Mueller would find no evidence that his presidential campaign cooperated with Russian intelligence.

At a press conference later on Thursday, Trump said, "I respect the move but the entire thing is a witch hunt. There is no collusion".

Around the same time that Trump was preparing for his press conference, Rosenstein reportedly told the full Senate that Trump had already made a decision to fire Comey before Trump asked him to submit a memo that would amount to reasoning.

Mr Trump made that tweet before Reuters released its report, which stated that the 18 or so previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the election and contacts between Mr Trump's campaign and Russia.

The announcement of a special counsel apparently took the White House by surprise, with Mr Trump being informed of it only after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had signed the order.

Because it was a closed briefing, it's unclear exactly how Rosenstein described how he knew Trump would fire Comey. "I would say up to and including the statements that President Trump allegedly made to Jim Comey, they would come within (Mueller's) purview".

Thursday's meeting wasn't the first time Trump has privately addressed TV anchors and reporters.

"I hope the two investigations will not be in conflict", Rubio (R-Fla) said.

German prosecutors investigating VW's Mueller over scandal
A Volkswagen spokesman refused to comment on the prosecutors' statement when contacted by AFP. Poetsch, the former boss and now chief executive of VW, will also be interviewed.

House investigators said they were plowing full speed ahead with their own inquiry - one source noted that the appointment of a special counsel didn't matter much because Comey had not been providing House investigators much access to begin with. Last week in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, he claimed he had been planning to fire Comey and called him a "grandstander".

He made no reference to the controversies about Russian Federation or the Russian Federation ties for fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn or Comey's dismissal. Trump fired Comey the next day.

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

Mueller, a former federal prosecutor at the Justice Department, was confirmed as FBI director days before the September 11, 2001, attacks that would ultimately shape his tenure.

Our investigation is a counterintelligence one.

"It is hard to see a friend of yours being in the middle of that", said Jan Paul Miller, a St. Louis attorney who worked with Rosenstein when both were assistant US attorneys in Maryland.

President Trump denied all the allegations with him connecting to Russian hackers and others during the infamous election which saw him winning in a thin margin.

In August, Trump said to an enthusiastic crowd that a special prosecutor must take over the investigation into his Democratic rival's emails. His staff has said he'd been mulling it for a long time.

"I am heartened by the news of Mr. Mueller's appointment, but in no way does it diminish the need for Congress to play an active role to get to the bottom of recent events", said Sen.

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