New Russia probe leaks threaten to derail Trump's foreign trip

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Since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed a special counsel to take over the federal probe into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation, the congressional investigations are likely to be largely frozen while newly appointed special counsel Robert Mueller does his work.

The Washington Post was the first to report on this detail of the investigation, saying a "senior White House adviser" has become "a significant person of interest" in the probe.

U.S. President Donald Trump stops to give a thumbs up as he departs the White House to embark on a trip to the Middle East and Europe, in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017.

President Donald Trump waits to speak during the 2017 National Peace Officers Memorial Service in Washington, D.C. The New York Times is reporting that President Donald Trump told Russian diplomats that firing the "nut job" Federal Bureau of Investigation director had relieved "great pressure" on him. Despite knowledge of the probe, the incoming administration chose to go forward with plans to hire Flynn as the National Security Advisor, a position that gave him access to America's highest military and intelligence secrets.

This last part of the deputy attorney general's account seems to contradict the White House's explanation of how Trump chose to fire Comey.

Trump on Thursday denied asking Comey to drop the probe into links between Russian Federation and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn and decried a "witch hunt" against him.

The Justice Department on Friday issued the text of Rosenstein's opening remarks for the briefings on Capitol Hill.

A July 5, 2016 press conference in which Comey sharply criticized Clinton's behavior but exonerated her of any legal wrong-doing was "profoundly wrong and unfair", Rosenstein told Congress, to both the Department of Justice, which Comey had not notified before holding the press conference, and to Clinton.

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Of course investigators are going to interview White House staff as part of their probe.

Trump has said he plans to nominate a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director soon, but there was no announcement Friday.

Ex-FBI boss James Comey, who was sacked by Donald Trump, has agreed to testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

When asked about the Justice Department appointing Mueller as Special Counsel, the President deflected the question. “This renewed my confidence that we should not have confidence in this administration. Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed to the “very strong” recommendation from Rosenstein. Rosenstein was picked by Trump to be deputy attorney general in mid-January. But he added, "I wrote it". Richard Burr said in a statement. I believe it. I stand by it.”. After learning about Trump's decision to fire Comey, Rosenstein said he wrote a "brief memorandum to the Attorney General" outlining his "longstanding concerns" about Comey's previous behavior.

Trump has reacted furiously to the appointment of a special counsel, a prosecutor with wide authority to investigate Russia's interference and other potential crimes uncovered.

According to his testimony, Rosenstein said that he learned Trump "intended to remove director Comey and sought my advice and input" on May 8, a move he thought was "appropriate".

Asked point-blank if hed done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, Trump said no — and then added of the lingering allegations and questions: “I think its totally ridiculous.

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