Trump denies asking Comey to drop probe, decries 'witch hunt'


Last week, Pence dutifully repeated the White House's explanation for why Trump had abruptly fired James Comey, the FBI director, telling a gaggle of reporters in the Capitol that the move had been based on a recommendation by the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, and centered on Comey's mishandling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

On Thursday, Trump denied trying to influence the investigation by sacking Comey. Trump, who fired Comey last week, says that didn't happen. According to Wittes, Comey was "disgusted" when Trump gave Comey a hug during a White House visit for a ceremony honoring law enforcement officials that worked Trump's inauguration.

During his 13-minute remarks, Pence made no explicit mention of flaring controversies, including those related to Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey, reports of his sharing highly classified material with Russian officials or the appointment of a special counsel to probe Russian meddling in the USA election.

They included media reports that Trump discussed sensitive intelligence on the Islamic State militant group with Russia's foreign minister.

In a pair of morning tweets and at a later news conference, Trump described calls for his impeachment as "ridiculous" and said he had done nothing to warrant criminal charges.

"I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt", Trump said at a news conference where he was joined by President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia.

And finally, on Wednesday, Rosenstein appointed a special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, to lead the investigation. Trump wrote on Thursday morning.

Paperwork for the Great America Committee was filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission. But a spokesman for the senator later said that Flynn still has time to comply if he chooses to.

More news: Two Senate panels seek Comey memos, Intel wants testimony
More news: Video shows Chris Cornell's last performance hours before death
More news: India, Pakistan army trade fire in Kashmir; 2 civilians dead

USPresident Donald Trump denied any collusion with Russian Federation in the 2016 election but said on Thursday he spoke "for myself", leaving open for the first time the possibility that some of his staff may have been involved.

"The action shows the urgency of investigating Trump-Russia possible collusion and interference in our election".

Trump fired Flynn on Feb 14 for misleading Vice-President Mike Pence about the extent of his conversations past year with Russia's ambassador.

United States stocks recovered ground yesterday as upbeat economic data emboldened investors to return to the market, a day after Wall Street saw the biggest selloff in eight months on worries the political turmoil could undermine Trump initiatives such as tax cuts that investors see as favoring economic growth. The investigation into the administration's ties with Russian Federation gets more intense.

Trump's position on the matter stands in direct contrast with the posture of nearly all lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, who have received Mueller's appointment favourably.

"If I were Mr. Mueller I would jealously guard the witness pool", Graham said. One of the attendees, speaking on condition of anonymity, described Rosenstein as anxious and nervous and said he drank multiple glasses of water "and spilled one".

Trump could have viewed Mueller's appointment on a negative note but Fox News' Eric Erickson thought the opposite and advised that the GOP should even rejoice over the appointment on many points.