James Comey reportedly rebuffed Trump's attempts to get chummy

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WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump told Russian diplomats last week his firing of “nut job” James Comey had eased the pressure on him, even as the FBIs Trump-Russia investigation had moved into the White House, according to reports Friday that followed the president as he began his maiden foreign trip. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Rosenstein would be questioned about a letter he wrote accusing Comey of missteps as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, including his handling of an election-year probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

"The President has always emphasised the importance of making deals with Russian Federation as it relates to Syria, Ukraine, defeating ISIS and other key issues for the benefit and safety of the American people", the statement said.

Just over an hour after the news of Mr Mueller's appointment emerged, President Trump predicted the new investigation would clear him and his team. "He was insane, a real nut job", Mr Trump said, according to a document detailing the Russian visit.

In a written statement shortly after Mueller's appointment was announced, Trump said a thorough investigation will confirm "there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity".

In a pair of early morning tweets, the president raged against perceived hypocrisy regarding his former campaign rival and his White House predecessor, writing "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!".

Russian conversations intercepted by United States intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign indicated that Moscow saw Donald Trump associate Michael Flynn as an ally who could help influence the Republican nominee, CNN reported Saturday. That was two days after Rosenstein named Mueller as a special counsel to investigate possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The ceremony occurred in the Blue Room of the White House, where many senior law enforcement officials - including the Secret Service director - had gathered.

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As for the separate report of a “person of interest” under investigation, the Post said the senior White House adviser “under scrutiny” is someone close to the president but did not name the person.

Rosenstein denied media reports from last week that Comey had asked him for additional resources for his investigation before Trump fired him.

Trump wrote on his twitter account: "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!". Rosenstein's letter laying out Mueller's authority over the Russian Federation inquiry also states that he is "authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters". The goal of the special counsel probe, he said, was to determine whether there was collusion between Trump associates and Russian Federation to do so.

Rosenstein said he learned on May 8 that Trump was going to fire Comey and the president "sought my advice and input".

In a statement Friday evening, the Republican chairman and top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Comey has agreed to publicly testify in front of the panel about his role in the Russian Federation investigation.

"If your implication is that the White House wants this, I think that's wrong", said Senate judiciary chair Chuck Grassley Wednesday night.

Despite such frustrations, members agreed that Rosenstein had received a warm reception from both Republicans and Democrats at the meeting, a development that they said showed not only praise for his selection of Mueller to oversee the probe but also a recognition that Republican resistance to an independent probe was futile. But he added, "I wrote it".

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