Trump denies that he requested Comey end investigation into Flynn

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President Donald Trump has said during a press conference that he didn't try to shut down an investigation into his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

And the Justice Department, having lost all credibility in its mishandling of the scandal, has just named the widely respected former FBI director and prosecutor Robert Mueller III to launch his own independent investigation.

The latest blockbuster revelation came this week from fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey in a private memo he wrote after an Oval Office meeting with the president in February.

President Donald Trump lashed out again Thursday at the ongoing inquiries into his presidential campaign and Russian Federation, counteracting an earlier, more measured response from the White House.

"As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity".

White House officials and Republicans close to the administration say Trump, who campaigned on an "America First" slogan, wants to demonstrate leadership overseas on his visit with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Israel and the West Bank, the pope at the Vatican, North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders in Brussels and Group of Seven counterparts in Sicily.

He added, "When I made that decision, I actually thought that it would be a bipartisan decision because you look at all of the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, that were saying such bad things about Director Comey".

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President Donald Trump told news anchors in an off-the-record meeting that the appointment of a special counsel in the Russian Federation probe is bad for the US.

Asked whether he urged Comey to ease up on the Flynn investigation, Trump said at a news conference, "No, no", before ordering the media to move on to the "next question".

"I hate to see anything that divides. Russian Federation is fine, but whether it's Russian Federation or anybody else, my total priority, believe me, is the United States of America".

The White House says an investigation will prove there was no collusion. One associate said Comey wrote down as much as he could once he got back to his auto.

Trump said there was "no collusion" but added that he can only speak for himself. "I'm fine with anything anybody wants to do, but we have to get back to running this country". "I hope you can let this go". "He is a good guy".

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal also told reporters that Mueller was conducting a criminal investigation, including into whether there was any obstruction of justice on behalf of Trump's campaign team. In addition to complaining he was being abused in unprecedented ways, he took aim anew at his presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, saying she never faced a special counsel despite "all the illegal acts that took place" in her campaign.

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