In that memo he accuses Trump of attempting to persuade him to shut down the FBI's investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, who was sacked by Trump after admitting he lied about several contacts he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
President Trump is hosting a joint news conference with Colombian President Juan Manual Santos at the White House Thursday afternoon, the president's first press conference in a week of rapid-fire developments.
Gen. Rod Rosenstein to name former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to oversee the Russian Federation investigation as a special counsel, Trump repeated criticism he made earlier on Twitter.
The Washington Post has reported that former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last week, noted in a personal memo that Trump had asked him to let the Michael Flynn probe go.
"I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt, and there is no collusion between - certainly myself and my campaign, but I can only speak for myself and the Russians".
"I think the shot to the body is it's now considered a criminal investigation, and Congress' ability to conduct investigations into all things Russian Federation has been severely limited", Sen.
At the news conference, the president also reiterated his claim that the Justice Department's decision to appoint a special counsel to look into possible collusion with Russia was "a witch hunt", saying he had never colluded with the Russians.
Comey reportedly documented his interactions with Trump and other White House officials in memos that he passed along to his aides, according to The Times.More news: Laptop ban may expand to US-bound flights from Europe
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"I consider the question to be incorrect", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday when asked about the effect of a Trump impeachment on U.S.
In a letter to Comey notifying him of his termination last week, Trump thanks the FBI director for telling him "on three separate occasions" that he is not under investigation.
Rosenstein briefed senators on Thursday but made no public comments. However, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters after the briefing that "everything he (Rosenstein) said was that you need to treat this investigation as if it may be a criminal investigation". Trump said he acted because Comey, who had been overseeing the Russian Federation investigation, "wasn't doing a good job" leading the agency, calling him a "showboat" and a "grandstander".
Brookings Institute senior fellow Benjamin Wittes, who is a friend of James Comey, has publicly detailed an incident that Comey relayed to him which Wittes finds disturbing.
"Comey described really not wanting to go to that meeting, for the same reason he later did not want to go to the private dinner with Trump: the Federal Bureau of Investigation director should be always at arm's length from the President, in his view".
Trump said the investigation has divided the country and distracted from his agenda.
The Trump White House has been besieged by Russia-related controversies on several fronts.
When further asked whether he urged Comey in any way to back down the investigation, Trump interrupted the reporter and proceeded to the next question. "I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead".